BY OLIVE KABATWAIRWE
KAMPALA, UGANDA|SHIFTMEDIA| We have been observing and watching the situation in Kasese and the efforts various stakeholders have put in place to manage the impact of floods from the Five rivers that burst their borders.
It has been a very difficult situation seeing Citizens struggling to save lives and property from the floods and it’s carry-ons.
We have noted that one of the major reasons behind the situation is because there were diversions on the original pathways of these water Bodies and now they are reclaiming their original pathway.
The other factor being fronted is unplanned economic activities around the water Bodies.
We would like to note that, information is power and this whole issue comes back to the role of Government and other stakeholders in detecting, preventing, and managing disasters with a citizen-led approach.
To start with, we recommend that Government through @NEMA should not only come in once the situation gets worse but should be monitoring the situation around such areas and issue warning alerts to save lives and property where possible.
Monitoring compliance should not stop at issuing Certificates by National Environment Management Authority – NEMA, the agency should take interest in supervising the PEs and the Private sector compliance to Environmental standards in all.sorts of Infrastructure and economic activities along with all risky … Water Bodies and swamps in Uganda.
Ministry of Works and Transport-Uganda should strengthen its monitoring and supervision role beyond Projects implementation to post-completion to ensure that 2 years or one year down the lane, Infrastructure being developed is still intact. The Ministry should also ensure that all projects being planned henceforth have clear Monitoring and Evaluation strategies.
The MoWT should also conduct research into establishing climate-resistant Infrastructure. In addition, the Ministry’s design review board should be strengthened to review, approve, and monitor designs across all sectors.
The government through the Ministry of Finance should also look into providing enough funds to boost supervision and Monitoring into the MoWT. And the Ministry should reclaim its mandate in overseeing all Infrastructure in Uganda. Monitoring infrastructure should be effectively budgeted for and funded with clear results.
The CoST Infrastructure Monitoring Tool recently launched by the Ministry of Works and Transport should be adapted to improve the monitoring and reporting mechanism of Government as it presents an opportunity for real-time monitoring against set indicators for performance and Transparency.
With these observations and strategies, we believe the sector will live to tell a great story of change.
The author is the Programme Coordinator CoST Uganda