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Uganda's National Risk and Vulnerability Atlas Launched

The atlas compiled with the assistance of the UNDP country office provides data on various disasters the country is facing indicating vulnerability of various communities and offering recommendations to enhance resilience of these communities.
The scene of a landslide in Bududa

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Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has launched the first-ever national risk and Vulnerability Atlas of Uganda.

The atlas compiled with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme-UNDP country office provides data on various disasters the country is facing indicating the vulnerability of various communities and offering recommendations to enhance the resilience of these communities.

Speaking at the launch on Tuesday, Dr Rugunda said the atlas is a key instrument to help in the understanding of risk in all its dimensions, adding that the extent of vulnerability and risk and the cost of recovery have been high.

He believes that the knowledge in the atlas will be handy in designing strategies to build the resilience of communities most prone to disaster risks. He points out that these disasters that include landslides, floods and hailstones are holding back long term development endeavours.

Dr Rugunda notes that the various disasters suffered in the country have undermined the government’s efforts towards the attainment of vision 2040.

He revealed that Uganda is categorized as one of the most vulnerable countries ranking at 14th.

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He called for the development of a deliberate strategy to roll out the atlas to create awareness of the main contents such that the information will help reduce the impact of disasters.

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The UNDP Country representative Elsie Attafuah noted that her agency has also provided strategic equipment for the activation of the National Emergency Coordination and operations center (NECOC) at the district and regional levels.

She expressed her pleasure at the partnership between UNDP and the OPM to establish NECOC which since its launch in 2014 has averted various disasters in the country.

Attafuah disclosed that over the last 8 years UNDP in partnership with other agencies like the GEF, USAID and GiZ supported the automation of a climate information system and built capacity for forecasting and dissemination of climate information for early warning. This included the installation of 25 automatic weather and hydrological stations across the country as well as a messaging system enabling the information to be available in real-time.

She notes that the atlas is the first of its kind in Uganda and will guide policy and decision making to enhance coordination of disaster risk reduction and emergency management by prioritizing allocations towards high-risk areas.

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