The Act enacted on July 30, 1964, has a cardinal role to help the sick and wounded in the times of war or any other disasters
Members of Parliament have called for the review of the Red Cross Act to boost its effectiveness.
The former leader of opposition in parliament, Winnie Kiiza, argued that this would empower the organisation to streamline the management structure and its operations.
Kiiza said that Uganda Red Cross Act of 1964 needs to be amended to enable government funding.
She noted that with the increasing disaster occurrences in the country, Uganda Red Cross still depends on donor agencies and non-governmental organisations.
Kiiza made the remarks during the meeting organised by Uganda Red Cross and the Parliamentary Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committee in Kampala on Tuesday.
The Uganda Red Cross Act enacted on July 30, 1964, has a cardinal role to help the sick and wounded in the times of war or any other disasters.
“Uganda Red Cross renewed its focus on the voluntary perspective. The Act is just a mere mention of one page. I would like to assure the parliamentarians and the members from the Office of the Prime Minister that this will give us a legal backing,” Kiiza said.
She added that this will help to reduce on the disasters and enable government to put funds where they are needed most.
Robert Kwesiga the Uganda Red Cross secretary general disclosed that they were strained due to many areas of intervention.
Kwesiga said that today they are into improving health and stopping the suffering and that is why they are pushing to update the Act to have access to funding.
“Today, the donor agencies are looking at the space and sustainability in order to operate in a country. In Arua we have over 70 agencies operating in the area but they cannot be regulated due to the legal framework,” he said.
“The disasters can be stopped if they are mitigated. We are not merchants of disaster. We need to build an enabling environment so that we can coordinate the Uganda Red Cross with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM),” he added.
Pamela Komujuni Kalule the OPM senior disaster management officer said that in the last three years, they have been trying to come up with a law on effective disaster management.
Kalule said the Act will help the government come up with a regulatory frame work to regulate the organisation, the type items and quality of the human humanitarian items brought into the country.
She added that under the new law, 20% of the armed soldiers are supposed to be trained and that currently, over 1000 people have been trained.
Gulu Municipality MP Leander Komakech said the OPM should come out with a strategy to focus on the post-disaster mitigation measures.
Komakech said that there is need to address the disaster with people trained in various specialties like earthquake engineers.