By: Mugerwa Michael
The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hon. Hillary Onek met with a delegation from the EU to discuss disaster response and rescue operations. The meeting also extensively discussed environmental destruction taking place in Karamoja. This meeting was held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala.
This was a follow up meeting the Minister held with the Head of European Union in Uganda Attilio Pacifici. On behalf of Government, the Minister appreciated the partnership with the EU that continues to facilitate the development agenda.
The Minister said the current wave of disasters had over stretched government’s ability to handle emergencies. He said there was need for the respective government departments and agencies to form a united front to plan better with the intervention of the EU.
He said agriculture in Karamoja sub region should emphasize irrigation because of the extreme weather conditions. Onek implored scientists to produce fast yielding seeds to suite climatic conditions in Karamoja.
On their part, the EU delegation informed the Minister that partner states in the EU will follow up on issues raised and then prepare corresponding interventions. They said the EU intervention will be phased to begin with the short term disaster and refugee management requirements. The EU delegation included Bruno Rotival, Roisin Carlos and Caroline Adriaensen.
The Minister decried the wanton destruction of trees in refugee camps and in Karamoja sub-region. He said alternative sources of firewood should be adopted to save the environment in that region. The meeting was also attended by Brigadier General Stephen Oluka heading the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Centre. END