In Budada, nature turned against man. It hit in the quiet twilight of the night. The magnitude of destruction is devastating, chilling and unbelievable. Pictures of bodies being exhumed from mud, parents digging the mud for sons and daughters, tales of a woman phoning from rubble underneath, frightened children survivors with no parents or relatives to comfort them and the demeanor of despair on faces of survivors, and community reveal the extent to which this calamity has hit our nation. The very foundations of our nation – gifted by nature- have been tested. Budada for the past two weeks has presented us a horrific theater of shattered lives. It serves no purpose to apportion blame of who did what or who didn’t do what. What matters at the moment is a comprehensive disaster response that will help wounded heal, the displaced relocated and the psychologically tortured rehabilitated. Efforts at upping the capability of anticipation for disasters of this nature is urgent- though not a momentous issue.
I salute the government for the so far aggressive effort to save lives and resettle survivors. I also know that government cannot do it alone. As a people, we need to mobilize every element of national capability. Besides government, the private sector and the entire business community can and will do a lot to help – We have launched a campaign at the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to affect this. The Civil society and religious groups have even a swifter mandate to aid the extraordinary efforts of lifting Bududa. We also need to mobilize Uganda Diaspora to participate in the efforts. It is also critical for East African community member states to give a hand. We know that many hands lighten the load. We have to act in unity to contain devastating forces of nature. And by the way, this could be the beginning of a long spell of nature’s revolt against man. It is at this point that we should also turn our eyes to victims of Kabale landslides. In aftermath of disaster, we are reminded that life can be unimaginably cruel. That pain and loss is so often meted without justice and mercy. But it is also in moments like this when we are brought face to face with our own fragility, that we rediscover our own humanity. Looking at Budada victims and survivors, we truly look at our selves in those circumstances. The foregoing plays to our innate sense of compassion – a basis and fulcrum of our will to help.
Those with inadequate faith will quickly say that God hates Bududa. People will grapple with the problem of what scholars call theodicy. That if God is good and intervenes in the world , then why does he make innocent suffer? Why does he unleash thousands of metric tones of mud on people in the middle of the night? Why, as the biblical Job might have said, would God crush an impoverished people with the tempest and multiply their wounds with out cause? Why? Why? I personally think that God is mysterious and can’t explain everything. This is why a Prime minister of Uganda and a vice President of a neighboring Kenya while in air on a compassion mission and effort to rescue Bududa got life scare when their helicopters developed technical problems. It was a coincidence that raised eyebrows! Therefore, we should not question the will of God. Rather we should do what is humanly possible and lend a hand to people in need. This is why the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry has opened up a center for collection of material and financial resources necessary to contain the suffering of Mudslide and landslide victims in Uganda. This is a call for action, come to the Chamber plot 1 A Kira road, telephone, +25673503035, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.chamberuganda.com and save humanity. Bududa and Kabale matter.
C.E.O – Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.