Uganda's president walks for flood relief

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KAMPALA, Oct 5 (Reuters) Hundreds of people joined Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on a walk through the capital Kampala Today, as part of a fundraising drive for victims of recent floods that have killed 20 and uprooted 300,000.

Uganda is one of the countries worst hit by torrential rains and floods that have swept over East and West Africa in recent weeks, destroying villages and washing away crops and livestock.

Conservative estimates put the number of people killed by the deluges -- from Ethiopia in the east to Senegal in the west -- at some 200.

Aid agencies say 1 million people have been affected.

''The biggest victim of these floods is the bridges. We need to first of all repair them, but maybe we need to rebuild them in a different way because they were built assuming there would be no rising water,'' Museveni told a crowd at Kololo airstrip outside Kampala. ''The people of Uganda cannot starve when this government is in charge.'' The three km walk was part of an appeal made by the government and UN agencies for shelter, food and medicine.

The UN World Food Programme and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have made appeals amounting to 107 million dollars.

The government has also set aside 22 billion Uganda shillings (12.54 million dollars) for flood relief and repair efforts.

''Daily life for hundreds of thousands of people has been affected,'' said UN OCHA representative Theophane Nikyema.

''Many are without regular access to clean water for drinking and cooking, without access to the hygiene and sanitation facilities necessary to prevent the spread of disease'' REUTERS PDT KP2155

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