Excavating Equipment Yet To Reach Bududa

1486 Views Bududa, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Rescue equipment promised by government is yet to reach Bududa district three days after landslides buried two villages in Bulucheke Sub County.

Rescue equipment promised by government is yet to reach Bududa district three days after landslides buried two villages in Bulucheke Sub County.
On Tuesday, a day after the landslides, relief and disaster preparedness minister, Dr Stephen Malinga, announced that government was releasing a search and rescue team and equipment from the ministry of works and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to Bududa.
But a Uganda Radio Network reporter in Mwalukaru parish in Bulucheke Sub County, says about 80 rescue workers, including UPDF soldiers and police, are still using hand hoes and spades to dig through the mud. Save for the four carcasses of cows retrieved on Wednesday afternoon, the search team is yet to find victims since Tuesday, when 11 people were rescued and taken to Bududa Hospital where are still receiving treatment.
John Baptist Nambeshe, the Bududa Local Council Five chairperson, the actual number of people still missing is not yet established. Nambeshe had earlier put the figure at over 200, but it was later revised to 109 people. State Minister for relief and disaster preparedness, Musa Ecweru, on Wednesday asked the district chief administrative officer to use the sub county register to come up with the number of missing persons.
John Mulawu, a teacher at Bubuyela Primary School says that most of the victims are school children who had gone home for lunch when the Monday afternoon incident occurred. The school is located just within a kilometre from Bunakasala and Bunalembwa, the two villages in Mwalukaru parish that were buried.
The school head teacher, Dison Wambete, says at least eight pupils can’t be traced at school since Monday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi visited the scene where he delivered President Museveni’s message of relocating the victims and other people living in high-risk areas. The president suggested that the victims be absorbed in urban areas if no fertile land is found for them. Mbabazi also said that the equipment to excavate the earth was on its way and that government would be in charge.
Bududa district is among the areas prone to landslides. In March 2010, the landslides buried an entire village in Nametse killing over 300 people. Government eventually relocated some of the survivors to Kiryandongo district after experts warned of more disaster on the slopes of Mount Elgon.
In August 2011, eight people were injured when a landslide struck their home in Simuyu village in Bulucheke Sub-county.

In the same month, at least 29 people died when landslides buried Bulegana and Mabono villages in Bulambuli district while in Kaabong district the slides killed at least seven and injured four others in Morulemu village, Kawolokol sub-county.