Hundreds Displaced by Landslides in Bundibugyo

3302 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda
Landslides in Bundibugyo district have displaced more than 2,000 people from their homes. Asanasio Bwambale, LC3 Chairperson of Kikuyu Sub-County, says the October torrential rains brought about the landslides. He says that this week more than 100 acres of cocoa, cassava, rive and vanilla plantations were washed away. Numerous houses and food stores were also destroyed. Joseph Kambaho, a vanilla farmer in Kirumya, says four acres of his vanilla fields and three acres of cocoa are covered in mud. He says the fields are his major source of income and he doesn't know how he will take care of his family of seven with his livelihood destroyed. Maurine Ngonzi recently started cultivating upland rice. She says she won't see her first harvest because the landslides washed away all three acres of her crop. Three parishes - Bundikeki, Bundimulangya and Nyankiro - are most affected by the disaster. Asanasio Bwambale says there are reports of similar landslides in Busunga parish in Bubandi Sub-County. He calls for urgent relief aid from government and humanitarian organizations, warning of an outbreak of famine and disease if affected households are not given food and shelter soon. Earlier this month, huge rocks were sent hurtling down the hills of Bundibugyo during a heavy rainstorm. The boulders blocked the Fort Portal-Bundibugyo Road and cut off the only highway into the district. Bundibugyo is classified by the Ministry of Water and Environment as a critical landslide-prone district. Landslides this year have affected tourism in the district because they have made access to the mountainous area harder than before. Tour operators are specifically concerned about the blocked route through the Kirumya Trail in Semliki National Park. The Kirumya Trail is popular with the hundreds of bird watchers who visit Uganda every year. ###