Govt Issues Landslides Alert

2182 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
In a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, Martin Owor the Commissioner for Disaster Management, says that the second season of rainfall is above normal and will be heavy. Mount Elgon region is prone to landslides with natural disasters almost every year killing people and displacing others in the districts of Bududa, Sironko, Mbale, Manafwa, and Bulambuli among others .

Government has issued a 'red warning' for the people staying in mountainous areas as fears of more landslides loom.
 
In a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, Martin Owor the Commissioner for Disaster Management, says that the second season of rainfall is above normal and will be heavy.
 
According to Owor, the rains will continue to December with likelihood of causing massive floods, and landslides in mountainous areas.

"Those whose homes are on steep slopes please shift to safer homes of relatives, friends, schools, churches and mosques," Owor said.

Mount Elgon region is prone to landslides with natural disasters almost every year killing people and displacing others in the districts of Bududa, Sironko, Mbale, Manafwa, and Bulambuli among others. In Sironko district, at least seven people are believed to have been buried by landslides 12 days ago. The search for the bodies continues.

Owor says people in Sebei Sub region districts of Kapchorwa, Bukwo, and Kween have also been asked to move since their areas are flood plains.

He says government does not expect people to shift with their animals and advises that six hours after it has rained, they can always go back to their original places to check on their livelihoods since the ground will have settled.
 
He notes that once landslides have hit, it is easy to replace animals but not human beings hence noting that government is only interested in securing lives of people.
 
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The ministry suggests that the dangerous rains are likely to come between 30 to 60 days meaning that after October 30th rains are likely to reduce.
 
Owor advises people in safer places to only go back to their gardens to collect food during day time when it has not rained.  He further notes that people will return to their homes late November and December when the rains are much lower.
 
Speaking to URN in a phone interview, Owor said government has already started dispatching food relief to districts of Sironko and Bududa and other regions which are likely to be affected.
 
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Owor also cautions people who cross flooded roads to desist from the habit arguing that the roads would be slippery and might be easily swept away by the running water. He appeals to them to wait for water to drain before they make further movements.
 
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Owor refuted reports of people refusing to relocate to reserved places for landslide victims in Uganda such as Kiryandongo arguing it is untrue.

He notes that after the 2010 Bududa landslides, a total of 5000 people were relocated to Kiryandongo and said that many others have shifted willingly to raise the number to 10,300 people currently occupying the resettlement.  
 

 

About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

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