Mixed Reactions to Museveni's Bududa Directive

1952 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
The directive by President Yoweri Museveni to have survivors of Monday’s landslides in Bududa district relocated to other places within the country has drawn mixed reactions among the locals in the area.

The directive by President Yoweri Museveni to have survivors of Monday’s landslides in Bududa district relocated to other places within the country has drawn mixed reactions among the locals in the area.

President Museveni through a message by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, on Wednesday directed that all those living in high risk slopes of Mount Elgon should be unconditionally relocated. The President suggested that the government could also construct urban settlements within the district to have them settled there.
 
The directive followed the June 25 landslides that buried at least two villages in Bulucheke Sub County, Bududa district. It is still not clear how many people have died, with government putting the figure at about 18 while local leaders saying the dead could be over 100.

Some of the survivors welcome the idea of having urban centers constructed within the district, but many equally say they would not move to any place outside Bududa.

Joseph Walukhu is one of the residents outside the four villages affected by the landslides. He is one of the many willing to move to the government settlements but only if they are constructed in Bududa.

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Walukhu, however, said the government should not take over currently occupied land in the event that it constructed the suggested housing units.

Easter Namukwe, who is also a resident of Mwarukaru parish in Bulucheke Sub County, said the government will face what she called an uphill task if it tries to resettle people in Kiryandongo district, where survivors of the March 2010 landslides were relocated.

She says reports of mistreatment coming from Kiryandongo may not attract more survivors to willfully move there.

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Besides, Walukhu says many of those that had been taken to Kiryandongo have had it difficult to cope with the culture and other conditions there and have since returned.

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Meanwhile, the search efforts had still not yielded any results by Friday morning, almost four days after the landslides. Michael Kusolo, who says he lost four members of his family to the landslides, says he was willing to move to anywhere he could secure land to start a new life. Kusolo says he has been left landless after the landslides swept all his land.