Disease and Starvation Threaten 50,000 in Eastern Uganda

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SOROTI, Uganda - Aug. 30 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Three Loaves Fund announces a special appeal on behalf of our partner Pilgrim, a local Ugandan Christian relief organization. Unusually heavy rains in eight districts in Eastern Uganda have left over 50,000 homeless and in danger of starvation and disease, said the Ugandan Red Cross Society, as reported in The New Vision.

PilgrimUgandan government officials have asked for international aid and assessments of the situation, and acknowledge that the government does not have the resources to help its people.

The State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru, said the government has sent some aid to the area, but "we are constrained by logistics. The government lacks the money to handle such calamities. We appeal to humanitarian agencies to support us."(1)

According to a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 8/22/07 press release, current conditions will likely lead to increased cases of malaria, diarrhea, and intestinal, skin and respiratory disease, as well as infectious diseases.

UN and Ugandan officials plan to assess the situation before the end of August, according to the UN News Source. Calvin Echodu, Executive Director of Pilgrim, a Ugandan Christian non-profit relief organization, says immediate assistance is necessary. "We must not wait - we must do everything we can to bring aid to our people now - before people starve."

The extraordinary rains in July and August washed out roads and bridges and flooded fields, destroying crops and threatening the livelihood of subsistence farmers in the Amuria, Budada, Bukeda, Kapchorwa, Katakwi, Kumi, Sironko and Soroti districts.

The flooded area is approximately the size of New Jersey.

Pilgrim, based in Soroti, is currently delivering food and emergency assistance to some 714 families. Pilgrim is well known in the region for its work in refugee resettlement, education and medical aid. It has the resources and personnel available to deliver food, medical supplies, emergency shelter and other necessary items to the local population in the shortest time possible, according to Mr. Echodu.

"We are in urgent need of funds from international relief groups so that we can give aid and comfort to our affected people. These farmers are our friends. In this last year, we helped at least 1,020 farmer households start to become self-sufficient. We gave them seeds and farm tools, and taught them how to grow their own food so that they start to become food secure and even have enough to sell. Now they see their crops rotting in the sodden fields, and they are devastated."

"These farmers were once helpless and dependent refugees; now they are becoming self-sufficient. We cannot let their new-found hope be destroyed by the current floods. We must help them recover their lost livelihoods."

For further information on Pilgrim, please see:

Additional information:
Dorothy Echodu
of The Three Loaves Fund

Calvin Echodu
of Pilgrim-Uganda


News Source:
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REFERENCES: The Three Loaves Fund, Pilgrim-Uganda relief effort, The Three Loaves Fund, Pilgrim-Uganda relief effort, Ugandan Christian relief organization, international aid, news, press release from The Three Loaves Fund, Aug 30, 2007, Global Aid and Disaster Relief, , , , , Disease and Starvation Threaten 50,000 in Eastern Uganda