Africa-Press – Uganda. Authorities in Nakasongola District have received Shs1.37b from the Office of the Prime Minister to relocate Moone Primary School and Lwampanga Health Centre after a large section of its buildings were submerged by floods in April last year.
The floods also displaced more than 2,000 households, and resettlement of residents remains a challenge.
In August, district officials petitioned the Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, for government support to relocate the facilities.
“We are now at the procurement stage after verifying the new sites for both the health centre and the primary school. Government recently fulfilled the pledge with the funds already deposited on the district local government general account for construction,” Mr Sam Kigula ,the district chairperson, told Daily Monitor at the weekend.
A total of Shs720m will go towards the construction of Lwampaga Health Centre III while Shs650m will go to the primary school.
The health centre used to serve communities from more than five landing sites. The maternity ward that had just been commissioned in February 2020 was among the blocks that got submerged, paralysing health services.
“Lwampanga Health Centre has a patient turnup that doubles the average for bigger health units in many parts of the country. The maternity wing had an average turnout of 100 mothers seeking services per day before the floods cut off access to many other services,” Dr Byamukama Agaba, the district health officer, said.
Mr George Willian Lubega, the Lwampanga Sub-county chairperson, said expectant women now trek for more than 30kms to Nakasongola Health Centre IV to access services.
“We have information that some expectant women that used to turn up for antenatal care at Lwampanga Health Centre have returned to traditional birth attendants. It is good that government has quickly responded to our appeals to relocate the health centre,” he said.
Government banned traditional birth attendants because they are not qualified health personnel.
Ms Eva Nabagala, a resident of Lwampanga Sub-county, said: “A section of mothers have shunned the facility.”
However, Dr Agaba said: “We shall get a permanent area for the health facility, but the services can still be accessed at the safer sections of the facility as the district embarks on the construction at the new site.”
On December 15, 2019, President Museveni directed the ministries of Water and Environment, and that of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to initiate a degazetting process for the 8 square-mile former central forest reserve land at Kyalubanga in Budyebo County, Nakasongola to resettle some of the displaced families. The forest reserve stretches to four sub-counties, including Nakitoma, Rwabyata, Lwampanga, and Nabiswera.
The President also directed that degazetting should go through the right government procedures. However, some residents are already using a bigger section of the land. Ms Victoria Zawedde, the district Woman MP, said the relocation process has been slow and yet families face many other health risks.