We should prepare to stem secondary health hazards

Africa is once again receiving warranted yet tragic attention from the rest of the world as fatal and historical downpours have killed civilians in Rwanda and Uganda.

Africa is once again receiving warranted yet tragic attention from the rest of the world as fatal and historical downpours have killed civilians in Rwanda and Uganda.

Last Wednesday, 15 were killed in Western Province as the long-rainy season got off to a violent start.

Northern Province has also suffered hailstorms and landslides, sweeping away livestock and property and complicating relief efforts.

The matter is now of regional concern, as floods have also affected large parts of Uganda, where a report was released predicting worse rains over the following months.

Today these are dangerous places to exist in.

Man’s tussle with nature will be one never won totally. Like mice under the elephant’s foot, we must move quickly and without much political and bureaucratic baggage to do the most we can.

This requires both local, national, and regional cooperation. Much appreciation must first be given to relief agencies working in the area risking their own lives to provide much-needed supplies to those who have lost loved ones and homes. Both government and non-government organisations have been working non-stop in both the Western and Northern Province, and Minister of Local Government Protais Musoni has promised that such efforts will continue.

Now though, the lingering side-affects of the devastating rains are being realized as fears of malaria and other water-born epidemics like cholera rise. This calls for serious consideration into what further problems may crop up.

While there is only so much that the government can do financially, it must equip itself with the knowledge and blueprints to respond swiftly to any second-hand developments stemming from this weather.

Unfortunately this is a part of the world laden with the unpredictability of nature’s mood swings. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst must continue to be the maxim of this administration’s disaster-preparation services.

Ends

 

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