By Mariam Namakula
Local government leaders have requested the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to transfer their mandate in managing the disaster preparedness plans to the district levels.
The request was made on Thursday at the Kisoro District headquarters during a campaign launched by the OPM and the National Planning Authority (NPA) to sensitize leaders about the awareness of disaster preparedness plans.
The launch followed the establishment of the National Risk and Vulnerability Atlas of Uganda in February by the former Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to help inform on risk planning.
However, Mr Abel Rizimana, the Kisoro District chairperson, said as local leaders they were already informed of what was entitled in the atlas but needed a response as the biggest alternative and main focus to enhance disaster preparedness.
Mr Rizimana said the trends of disasters have always been clear, especially in his area where they are usually faced with landslides and floods, but have to report to OPM for assistance.
He added that local governments were much aware of the situations in these areas.
Mr Stephen Kasyaba, the Rubanda chairperson, said their main focus was to translate the informative plan to the local languages however limited with the little budget and resources that has always been allocated to them.
However, Ms Catherine Ahimbisibwe, an official from the OPM, urged the district leaders to continue playing their part as provided in the National Disaster Preparedness Management Policy, which looks into the sub county and village committees charged with sensitizing the masses about disaster preparedness.
Ahimbisibwe added that the disaster awareness campaign was only meant to enable the district leaders, particularly the disaster management committee, to identify the kind of disaster that are likely to affect their areas and plan accordingly.
She says if shared, the information provided in the atlas will enable the district leaders to make informed decisions in case of any investment thus providing proper planning and in risk management solutions.
The National Risk and Vulnerability Atlas of Uganda was put in place to mark different areas in Uganda with potential disaster risks and how to address them.