Bududa Rescue Effort to be Suspended Tomorrow

1553 Views Bududa, Eastern Region, Uganda
An appeal made by the Uganda Red Cross Society for emergency aid for people displaced by the Bududa landslides is receiving a very good response. The Uganda Red Cross Society yesterday launched an appeal for two billion shillings in relief aid for the 1,500 people made homeless by the landslides. Michael Nataka, Secretary General of the Red Cross Society, says the Unites States Agency for International Development and MTN Uganda have both pledged 100 million shillings in aid. He says several individuals have offered food, clothing and medicine. Now focus of humanitarian organizations is moving rescue and recovery to assistance of those who were displaced by Monday's landslide. 40 people are admitted at Bududa and Mbale hospitals in need of urgent treatment. There is also much concern for the thousands living outside in the mud and rain. Health workers say the displaced people are vulnerable to a range of diseases. With the body count at 90 as of noon today, there is a demand for the dead to be buried as soon as possible. Uganda Radio Network's reporter in Bududa, Michael Wambi, says many bodies were too badly mutilated to be identified. He says several headless bodies have been recovered and many severed heads have been found in the mud. The threat of disease is heightened by calls to suspend the rescue effort and to declare the village of Nametsi a mass burial ground. Robinah Mahame is heartbroken by this news. Although she says she has lost hope of finding her husband and three children alive, she hopes that at least she can find their bodies and give them a proper burial. Mahame lost six children in the landslide. The bodies of three of them have been recovered. She says she does not know how she will continue living with such a loss. //Cue in: "The wife and six children ..." Cue out: "... they are there."// The Uganda Red Cross Society estimates that there are still 265 bodies stuck in the mud. Matanda Wamuno, an elderly man who has spent most of his life in Nametsi, says he never imagined such a disaster would happened in his village. He says the hill opposite Nametsi was often the scene of landslides, but often these were not major, only destroying farm crops and animal shelters. Wamuno says he has no where else to go and is in despair.


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