The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) issued its rainfall performance forecast for September to December 2023 on September 1st, predicting above-normal rainfall in several parts of the country, largely influenced by the El Nino climate event, which typically results in heavy rainfall in Uganda. Given Uganda’s vulnerability to weather-related hazards and disasters, this alert raises concerns about potential disruptions to social and economic activities, as well as livelihoods across the country.
In response to this early warning, local governments, communities, and the general public are urged to take proactive measures:
For District Disaster Management Committees and stakeholders at the district level:
- Update and activate multi-hazard district contingency plans.
- Conduct community sensitization efforts.
- Monitor, assess, and report disasters to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
- Stay informed by regularly obtaining weather and climate updates from UNMA.
- Hold regular community meetings to keep residents aware of the potential impact of El Nino.
- Preposition emergency supplies in areas near high-risk communities to ensure timely responses.
- Identify temporary relocation sites in case of extreme weather events, such as floods and landslides.
- Collaborate closely with the Uganda Red Cross Action Teams (RCATS).
For communities and the general public:
- Engage in clean-up activities, including de-silting, digging drainage channels, and clearing areas around homes and homesteads.
- Store an adequate supply of food to mitigate shortages during periods of heavy rain.
- In areas at high risk of disasters, relocate to safer, higher ground as the rains intensify.
- Avoid crossing flooded or waterlogged sections and refrain from driving or riding during heavy downpours and on flooded roads.
- Install water harvesting facilities at the household and institutional levels.
- Consider refraining from using water transport during risky weather conditions.
- Do not seek shelter under trees, especially in lightning-prone areas; instead, install lightning arrestors on public structures like schools, hospitals, and churches.
The public is encouraged to report any emergencies to the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Center at 0800 177777. This proactive approach aims to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety and well-being of all Ugandans during the El Nino-influenced rainfall season.