24th June 2024
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Minister Atak seeks $50 million to tackle looming flooding

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Monday, June 3, 2024

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Albino Akol Atak speaks to the media. (-)

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management appeals for 50 million US dollars to mitigate the looming flooding that is predicted to wreak havoc in the country’s lowlands this year.

Addressing a parliamentary sitting on Monday, Albino Akol Atak said data shows that 2.5 million people will be affected, with one million to be in need of evacuation across more than four states.

Minister Atak underscored that the level of water at the Lake Victoria has risen to a record 13.6 meters, prompting Ugandan authorities to release 2,600 cubic meters per second downstream into South Sudan.

He said the water is expected to arrive in South Sudan this month, as predicted by the 67th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum held by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre.

Mr. Atak warns of massive displacement, outbreaks of diseases among humans and livestock, community conflicts, and limited access to affected areas due to poor road conditions.

Albino Akol urged the Minister of Finance and Planning to release 50 million US dollars to cater to the immediate needs of one million people as an initial target for early intervention.

“The Minister of Finance should release 50 million US Dollars or the equivalent to carter for the immediate needs of the one million people as the initial target for early intervention,” he told the legislators.

The minister said this fund will be used to procure food, human and veterinary medicines, and non-food items for the needy populations.

He outlined several immediate and short-term measures the government is taking, including ongoing communication with the Ugandan government regarding the release of water from the Jinja Dam.

He further recommended that the government must activate early warning and disaster risk management committees at all levels.

Other preparations include “clearing of blocked drainage systems in the settlement areas, public awareness amongst at-risk communities, establishment of health centers and mobile clinics for provision of health services to the affected population.”

According to the minister, flood-prone areas such as Rubkona, Duk, Twic East, Yirol East, Bor South, Nasir, Pigi, Manyo, Melut, and Twic counties are likely to be affected

Other areas include Nagero, Ezo, Wau, KajoKaji, Mvolo, Maridi, Ikotos, and Aweil North.

Albino added that the interventions include building the capacity of early warning system to floods and droughts, provision of communication systems, particularly in the rural areas where the majority of the population are at risk of disasters reside.

Minister told the lawmakers that there will be need to map populations that urgently require relocation to higher grounds including over 100,000 internal displaced persons in Unity State.

 

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