AFLI Policy brief on Management of Disasters in Uganda
Onweng Angura, Tobias
Kugonza Kamanyire, Sylvester
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Disaster preparedness and response remain a challenge for the Government of Uganda. Sprawling chunks of the population across the country continue to suffer the debilitating effects of calamities despite numerous interventions to increase the level of awareness and equip emergency response teams. The Government has kitted the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees with technical staff and resources to minimise disastrous incidents and respond to them appropriately immediately they happen. Programs have also been set up to support and aid the recovery of populations affected by disasters from time to time. However, catastrophes are manifesting themselves differently in recent times. They are shifting from predictable to unpredictable patterns, and this has presented a fresh challenge to the established prevention and mitigation system. The use of disaster-prone physical features is fast-changing to include social activities like cultivation, sport and entertainment, which attract large numbers of people, depress the environment’s holding capacity and stretch the natural protective mechanisms to the limit. The rising frequency of disasters in the country calls for regular policy reviews to take into account evolving circumstances. More resources should also be set aside to prevent and manage all forms of disasters. Two research studies The Uganda Policy Development and Management Forum supported by Uganda Management Institute (UMI) and African Leadership Institute (AFLI) commissioned two research studies to provide scientific input to support a review of the existing disaster management policy. The studies titled “Disaster Risk Reduction in Uganda, and Disaster Preparedness in Uganda” collected data through document review, questionnaires and interview guides administered on residents of disaster-prone areas. Key informants in the disaster management sector and political leaders were also sampled. The findings were reviewed and validated by renowned scholars and technocrats at a public policy dialogue held at UMI on November 29, 2018.