Despite the fact that majority of Kamwenge households and communities are poor, at the same we see Kamwenge area prone to a number of Natural and Man-made disasters of great importance. This informs us that it is un-helpful to plan for development in this area without considering this state of disasters. When communities are worried about the occurrence of disasters it becomes difficult to take up and engage in important development initiatives.
Therefore, our purpose is to address development concerns through Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) approaches. Disaster Risk Reduction approaches base on Disaster Prevention, mitigation, Preparedness and Response. The aim is to build Disaster Resilient Communities in which long term Development initiatives can easily be undertaken.
THE MOST COMMON DISASTERS FACING KAMWENGE COMMUNITIES
The natural disasters most likely to occur in Kamwenge are: Epidemics, drought and famine, floods, landslides, earthquakes and hailstorms. The commonest man-made disasters are: Insurgency, environmental degradation, transport accidents, and fire. A brief description of the main problems is outlined below:
Natural Disasters common in facing Kamwenge
Droughts and Famine: Parts of the district are affected by famine due to prolonged periods of drought occurring in a cyclic pattern every 3 to 5 years. The area reaching the Ankole cattle corridor is most affected with significant food insecurity, often necessitating humanitarian assistance; there is a high prevalence of under nutrition especially in children.
Epidemics and diseases: They are the single most important public health emergency in the district and neighboring areas country. Most threatening includes Ebola, Marburg, Cholera HIV/AIDS and Malaria. While 90% of the country is hyper-endemic for malaria, some high altitude regions in Western Uganda are continually threatened by epidemics of un-stable malaria.
Floods: Floods are relatively common in parts of the district, especially during the cycle of adverse weather that follows the El-Niño years. Recently, there was a large scale disaster of floods in the areas around River Mpanga and in the flood low lying communities of Mahyoro.
Land-slides: In Kamwenge, areas prone to landslides include the mountainous areas of Mahyoro and Ntara. Human activities like agriculture on these hilly places accelerate the effects.
Hail Storms: Parts of Kamwenge have frequent hail storms characterized by heavy rains and violent winds. Hailstorms and thunderstorms result in destruction of crops, animals, public infrastructure and human settlements.
Crop Pests and diseases: Pests and diseases are a major problem and may lead to food insecurity. Common pests in include weevils and caterpillars; diseases include coffee wilt, banana wilt and cassava mosaic.
Earth Quakes: Kamwenge is located in the Western Rift Valley in the Rwenzori Region. Many parts of Western Uganda are prone to seismic activity. In 1994, an earthquake hit districts in Rwenzori region affecting over 50,000 people. There were numerous tremors in 2007.
Man-Made Disasters of Major Importance in Uganda
Conflict, wars and Internal Displacement: In the past Kamwenge has been affected by successive armed conflicts. Between 1980 and 1986, a civil conflict raged in Uganda had many activities going on in Kamwenge. The ADF armed conflict of 1994 to 2000 also left many people killed and many losing property. Currently, there is a high influx of refugees in Rwamwanja Kamwenge as a result of armed conflict in Congo, majority are children and women.
Fires: Fires are a common occurrence in Kamwenge including both bush fires and electricity fires caused by haphazard electrical wiring and poor construction standards.
Transport accidents: According to WHO, Uganda ranks 2nd only to Ethiopia in the magnitude of Road Traffic Accidents in Sub-Saharan Africa. These mainly occur in vehicles that transport larger numbers of people and are confounded by long distance trucks that transport agricultural produce from Kamwenge to the world markets.
Environmental Degradation: Over the last 3 decades, there has been significant damage to the environment, increasing the potential for major natural disasters. This is closely related to deforestation in the rural areas and encroachment into wetlands in the urban areas.
Vulnerability Assessment: Communities in Uganda are higly vulnerable to the hazardous effects of disasters. Factors most responsible for this are: Poverty, age, gender, disability, lack of information, lack of experience, inadequate health care, geographical isolation of some underserved areas, inadequate coordination, malnutrition, inappropriate development policies, food insecurity, societal stratification, poor water and food quality, limited district level resources, politics, graft, lack of social order, high burden of illness and inadequate disaster preparedness or mitigation.
UVRC SOCIETY VISION STATEMENT
Our vision is a Resilient Society to all shocks of Natural and Human-induced Hazards, Disasters and Emergencies.
UVRC MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the UVRC is to enhance capacity of households, families and communities through Disaster Risk Reduction, Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness and Emergency Response Strategies.
Our goal is to be an Organization that is a leading and effective facilitator of Disaster Risk Reduction interventions, well equipped for disaster and emergency transforming mission.
UVRC DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND VULNERABILITY REDUCTION PRIORITY MEASURES
Environmental and Natural Resource management; climate change adaptation
Structural and technical measures
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