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15 feared dead as Landslides bury two villages in Bududa

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A pupil Dan Waseba ponders his next move after a road was cut off by floods in Bududa on March 4 2010. Photo by Stephen Wandera

A pupil Dan Waseba ponders his next move after a road was cut off by floods in Bududa on March 4 2010. Photo by Stephen Wandera 

By John Njoroge

Posted  Monday, June 25  2012 at  15:59
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Officials from the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) have this Monday evening confirmed 15 people dead after heavy downpour triggered several landslides in Bugisu sub-region, Eastern Uganda. Two villages of Namaga and Bunakasala in the Bumwalukani Sub County, Bududa district have been buried.

In an afternoon statement to this newspaper, URCS said it’s Secretary General, Mr Michael Richard Nataka had also joined an emergency ground team in the conducting of a rapid vulnerability capacity assessment.

“The Uganda Red Cross Society has sent a team of volunteers to assess the situation and establish the number of people affected although local authorities have told Red Cross that there could be about 80 people in each of the villages,” URCS head of communications Catherine Ntabadde said on Monday.

Efforts to reach officials from the Disaster Preparedness Ministry were futile as they were reportedly locked in an emergency meeting all afternoon following reports of 3.12 p.m. landslide.

This is the third time landslides are affecting these areas.  In August last year, URCS declared Bududa a disaster area after landslides injured eight people and left 420 others homeless. Among the affected areas was the Simuyu village in Bulucheke Sub County.

In March 2010, at least 100 people were killed and over 400 people displaced after a six hour downpour triggered off landslides in several villages on the slopes of Mount Elgon.

The affected villages included Nameti, Kubewo, and Nankobe. An estimated 90 homes were destroyed in Nameti village alone. The affected villages were buried by fast moving mud, with houses, markets, and a church destroyed; many roads were also blocked.

In Butaleja, over 6,000 homes from the sub-counties of Kachonga, Masimasa, Kimuntu and Nawangofu were affected.  Two primary schools in Nabehere and Lubembe had to be closed. The Mbale-Busolwa road was also closed due to flooding.

And in the suburbs of Kampala, motorists and pedestrians struggles to get to their homes after rain water flooded various parts of the city, making access impossible.

jnjoroge@ug.nationmedia.com