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Uganda: Bloggers respond to massive flooding

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda, Citizen Media, Disaster, Photography

The top thing on many Ugandan bloggers’ minds in the past two weeks has been the massive flooding [1] across sub-Saharan Africa. The floods hit particularly hard in northern and eastern Uganda, where 250 people have died and up to 150,000 have been displaced.

Omar Basawad describes [2] the lasting toll the natural disaster will take on the country:

The floods only exacerbates Uganda's already many problems: the bloody and costly conflict in the North, it being plagued by HIV/AIDS and other diseases and an economy that has so far not taken off as strongly as hoped for. Now, Uganda has not only to feed and shelter the hundreds of thousands worse affected by the floods, but has too – to reconstruct, rebuild and repair the many roads, bridges and other structures destroyed by the floods. As for the worse affected people of the area, the agony and misery is even more and worse. And will continue for a long time to come; even when the World, much later, has forgotten about the floods in Uganda.

Many bloggers, including Zack [3], Kelly [4] and Dennis [5], express their sympathies and ask their readers to help the victims, either by contributing to relief efforts or by keeping them in our thoughts. Tandra [6] posts instructions for donating to relief efforts through SMS:

Send an SMS and save a life. Donate 1,000/= to flood victims. Simply type FLOOD and send to 198 and you will have saved a flood victim.

And Elit writes a scathing critique [7] of the Ugandan government's response to the tragedy:

Since last week, the main press piece has been the floods in the North and Eastern parts of the country. Kudos to the dailies for if it were not for them, this would have been swept under the carpet in the way our government does when they'd rather not be bothered with the problem at hand.

And what is the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, headed by Prof. Kiwani [NOTE: “kiwani” can be translated as “liar” or “fake”; the Ugandan Minister of Disaster Preparedness is Musa Ecweru] doing? “We should develop a comprehensive plan to handle disasters”. Heck, a disaster has happened, is happening and you are sitted in your comfortable plush office that has been furnished at the cost of these children's parents’ earnings, and you are talking about developing a plan!!