20 Families To Be Relocated as Ibanda Hills Develop Cracks

3085 Views Ibanda, Uganda

In short
Over 20 families living adjacent to Ibanda hills in Ibanda district have been ordered to vacate immediately after the area developed huge cracks due to human activity.

 
Over 20 families living adjacent to Ibanda hills in Ibanda district have been ordered to vacate immediately after the area developed huge cracks due to human activity.

The most affected families are those staying close to Njembe I and II hills in Kigunga Rukiri Sub County Ibanda district.

A team of scientists from the office of the Prime Minister led by Immaculate Nyangoma on Friday trekked the two hills to ascertain the magnitude of the cracks, variability of soils, rocks and stones.

In the closed-door meeting held at the Ibanda district headquarters shortly after the tour, Nyangoma revealed that a team of officials from both disaster preparedness ministry will produce a detailed report in a period of one week to avail a possible mitigation solution.

Nyangoma warned that the lives of over 20 homesteads neighboring Njembe I and II are at risk of being buried by soils since rain is intensifying and widening the deep cracks on top of the hills.

She advised the Ibanda district authorities to ask all the families in the affected areas to vacate before a possible landslide hits the area. Close to 400 people have died in different occurrences of landslides in Mount Elgon area in the last two years especially in Bududa, Manafwa, Bulambuli and Sironko districts.

In June this year, the Uganda Red Cross Society launched an appeal for 4.5 billion shillings to assist more than 100,000 people in 14,000 households affected by landslides in the Mount Elgon area.
 
This came just three days after another landslides killed at least 11 people in Bunakasala and Bunalembwa villages in Mwalukaru parish, Bulucheke Sub County in Bududa district. Government is in the process of relocating from the most affected areas in the Elgon region.

The cracks Njembe I and II hills were first detected in July 2012 by the residents digging adjacent to the hill top.

The district Environment officer Tom Nuwaira warned that the magnitude of the crack was 15 feet deep and had the capacity to expand and cause disaster any time as rains intensify. He advised all the people living close to the cracked hill top to move to another place to avoid being buried in case of landslides.

Despite the warning, many of the affected families seem not ready to vacate the area.

Antoniyo Kanshangaki, a 90 year old woman, says she is not ready to vacate Ngyembe I village where her husband was buried. She says with her old age she should be left to die in her marital house.

The Local Council Three councilor for Kigunga parish, Jane Korugambo, says over 700 people from Ngyembe are worried of leaving their houses and plantations behind yet they have no other source of survival.

Korugambo wants the ministry of disaster to establish an alternative land to resettle all the people before asking them to move.

The Ibanda district chairman Mellechiades Kajwengye, however, pleads with the people of Njembe I and II to begin moving and take refuge in their relatives’ places away from the cracked hills as Government finds a place to resettle them there.