Flooding in Uganda
March 4, 2010 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Flooding in Uganda displaces 20,000.
Heavy rains in eastern Uganda have triggered flooding that has displaced more than 20,000 people and hampered search efforts to find victims of massive landslides feared to have killed hundreds, officials said Thursday.
posted by mdpatrick (13 comments total)
Don't even start with the 2012 hokus pokus lets-get-the-herd-riled-up junk.
posted by mdpatrick at 8:02 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

ugh this is really horrible. I think the mayan calendar might have meant "2010" not "2012"....
posted by supermedusa at 8:07 PM on March 4, 2010

You're just saying that because you live near a fault line.
posted by mdpatrick at 8:10 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

My neighbor returned home today from Uganda, she's working for a reproductive health agency there. If she has anything to say about these floods I'll post it here.
posted by peeedro at 9:13 PM on March 4, 2010

This is what god says when you try to kill the gays.

Take THAT, Pat Robertson!
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:33 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sadly, I'm afraid that the situation will be even worse for gays. People usually take calamities for signs of God's wrath. After Banda Aceh in Indonesia was nearly wiped out by the tsunami, the devout Muslim population became even more pious -- they've recently passed a law for the stoning of adulterers.
posted by Karcy at 9:59 PM on March 4, 2010

Remind me to care once the repeal their laws criminalizing homosexuality.

The kill the gays bill isn't new, it just gives harsher penalties for being gay and criminalizes failing to blow in your gay friends. Right this second being gay in Uganda will get you a 14 year prison sentence, with more than the usual number of prison beatings and rape tossed in.

I've got sympathy for the innocent people hurt in the flood, but I've got more sympathy for my gay cousins who have endured a pogrom for decades. Until their laws become equal, I'm staging a one man aid embargo to Uganda.
posted by sotonohito at 4:14 AM on March 5, 2010

Withholding aid to people very much not in power to persuade those with existing power never works.

I'd understand not propping up the govt. based on human rights, but leaving the people to rot isn't going to help anyone.
posted by shinybaum at 4:50 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've got sympathy for the innocent people hurt in the flood, but I've got more sympathy for my gay cousins who have endured a pogrom for decades.

And here we understand the mechanism by which Ugandan politics has been riven by tribal divisions for decades.

There's been extensive flooding elsewhere in East Africa, too, with safari tourists in Kenya's Samburu National Park plucked from the trees by rescuers in helicopters and everybody downstream readying for more to come as the "Long Rains" of March-May get started in earnest. Tanzania is likely to experience flooding, too, as the season progresses.

Kenya and Tanzania have pretty tough anti-gay laws on the books, too, so you know what to do, sotonohito.
posted by notyou at 8:21 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

[sarcasm]Well, they do have dark brown skin. That always invokes god's wrath. Clearly they deserve it too, being poor.[/sarcasm] I'm sure some famous Christian theologian will make these claims.
posted by dale_a at 9:49 AM on March 5, 2010

shinybaum Tell me about a more effective course of action and I'll adopt it. So far threats to withdraw aid have been tremendously effective WRT the kill the gays bill, it seems to me that similar action should be effective in decriminalizing homosexuality.

notyuou Yes, they do. And I think the USA should make its aid contingent on decriminalizing homosexuality for every nation to which it gives aid. We've seen in Uganda that this seems to be an effective tool, I think we should use it more often and in broader circumstances to advance the cause of human rights.
posted by sotonohito at 9:52 AM on March 5, 2010

I wonder if it's possible to distinguish between, say, aid offered and delivered in response to a natural disaster with the aim of easing human suffering, and aid delivered as part of a coordinated national foreign policy with the aim of furthering national political goals (one of which may be the furtherance of human rights)?

But if you want to be coldly practical about it, aid delivered in time of need, with no strings attached and no demands, demonstrates the giver's sincerity and enhances the giver's credibility, both of which are valuable when one is advocating change.
posted by notyou at 10:56 AM on March 5, 2010

I think it's kind of irrelevant whether you want to withhold aide or not. They will get tons of help from evangelical Christians, who are heavily involved in Uganda and are pretty much trying to turn it into a model country. They also send lots of people over there to do development and proselytize.

In fact, withholding aide would actually mean that most of the aide would come from the religious right, and that's who they would thank. Kind of self-defeating, actually.

But, I'm talking about individual contributions for the emergency, not long-term stuff done by other governments.
posted by delmoi at 2:39 PM on March 5, 2010

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