Uganda CO El Nino, Cholera & Malaria Situation, 10 February 2016

Situation Report
Originally published



  • In December 2015, UNICEF supported the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Department of Disaster Preparedness and Management and Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) to conduct a multi sectoral rapid assessment (Health, Education, WASH and child protection) in 25 high risk districts to ascertain the actual number of people at risk and their immediate needs and capacities, in order to inform response efforts.

  • Children in over 5,000 affected households will be reached with WASH supplies (for Health facilities) and chlorine in response to the Cholera outbreak.

  • Communication targeting over one million women, men and children on prevention and control of Malaria and Cholera is being broadcast with key messages to create awareness about disease outbreaks.

  • The 10 Malaria affected districts have been supported with five public health specialists deployed in December 2015 to assist in the coordination of the response and ensure timely delivery of supplies, monitoring, supervision and reporting.

  • UNICEF procured Rapid Diagnostic Testing kits, ACTs and Injectable Artesunate that will be distributed to the 10 Malaria affected districts through the National Medical Stores.

Date: 10 February 2016

Number affected people

#of people affected by El Nino

Children affected by El Nino
(Uganda Red Cross Society)

#of Cholera cases reported

#of Malaria cases reported

UNICEF Appeal 2016:
US$ 14.4 million

Funding Gap

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

El Niño Effects: As predicted by the Uganda Meteorological Authority (UNMA), the El Niño onset late in October brought some unusually high rainfall which progressively increased until November 2015. The effects were seen in a number of Districts that registered above average rainfall (more than double annual trends in most districts). These districts include 33 high risk districts initially forecasted to be at high risk of negative impacts of El Niño (see map below). The meteorological authority expects more rainfall in the period from February to April 2016. Alerts of incidents from various districts were received by Government and UNICEF in relation to high rainfall and flooding. The alerts included text messages from volunteers with the National Emergency Coordination and Operation Center (NECOC) Disaster Risk Management System (DRMS), from U-reporters as well as media reports and updates from the Uganda Red Cross. District authorities from the affected districts, UNICEF and Uganda Red Cross carried out needs assessments after receiving alerts of incidents of high rainfall and flooding. The reports from the assessments showed isolated events of restricted movement to schools. Most rainfall incidents caused some displacement of people and loss of infrastructure such as roads, school buildings, latrines and homes. Water sources have been contaminated aggravating risk of water borne disease. There is additional risk from hazards such as Cholera and Malaria outbreaks reported in Kampala City, Sironko, Moroto, Mbale and Busia Districts, among others. The Malaria outbreak in ten districts in the Northern part of the country has seen an increase in cases in the past three months. State minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hon. Musa Ecweru highlighted that due to El-Nino effects, Teso parts of northern Uganda, and Karamoja are on the brink of severe famine. According to an assessment report by the Red Cross, within 12 Districts, 4,858 households were directly affected by flooding or hailstorms, with 26,252 people including children living in makeshift accommodation as their shelters were submerged in water.2,240 houses/huts were reportedly affected by the disruption. A total of 99 latrines in the same area were filled with water and have collapsed, thereby increasing the risk of disease outbreak. So far, cholera outbreaks have been reported in Kampala, Kibaale, Busia and Zinga Island in Wakiso. Food security has been threatened by the massive water logging, with 9,334 acres of gardens affected and unharvested food crops destroyed. With support from UNICEF, the Department for Disaster Preparedness and Management at the Office of the Prime Minister has conducted a multi-sectoral rapid assessment in 25 high-risk districts for flooding and landslides in order to provide critical information to guide response decisions as well as the revision of the National Contingency plan and the focus of further sector specific assessments. The assessment was conducted from 14-22 December by five teams, each covering five districts. The teams were multi-sectoral comprising of members of the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) platform from the key sectors such as Health, Education and WASH. Outstanding response interventions needed that were registered from the NECOC DRMS and the assessment carried out by the Office of the Prime Minister included rehabilitation of damaged water, sanitation and road infrastructure, shelter and hygiene, distribution of non-food items, agriculture inputs, food aid, boat transport to facilitate children’s access to schools which are scheduled to open in February. Drugs and supplies for Malaria prevention and control were also in need. Support for preparedness and risk reduction is also required in the form of risk communication for communities as well as training of the community on construction of flood resistant homes, training districts at risk on disaster management. A food security and nutrition assessment would also be relevant. The Government proactively supported community preparedness and early action by wavering telecommunication costs for key media messages on El Nino. Majority of communities visited during the El Nino rapid assessment confirmed that they received advisories through various media channels and were able to anticipate likely shocks and take relevant action in time. In November-December 2015, the Office of the Prime Minister extended relief in form of food worth UGX 4 billion to affected communities in Karamoja, Teso and the Elgon regions.