Tuesday May 13 2014

Disaster looms as new cracks are sighted in Mt Elgon

Survivors of a recent landslide dig out a house

Survivors of a recent landslide dig out a house from under the ravage. File photo 

By Monitor Reporter

New cracks have been sighted in the Mt. Elgon areas of Busiiyi and Nameti in Buduuda district raising fears of another looming disaster.

This comes at the time when the country is experiencing consitent rains that hjave also caused the Kasese floods.

John Bosco Nambetsye, the Bududa district LC V chairman says the ongoing rains pose a serious threat of another catastrophic landslide in the area. Nambetsye says they have now petitioned government to station equipment like excavators and bulldozers at the district as part of its preparedness.

In December last year, it was reported that parts of Mt Elgon had developed fresh cracks and to that effect the MPs, Norwegian ambassador Thor Bjorn and Bududa District leaders who toured one of the villages that were hit by landslides warned of a looming disaster and called for government’s immediate intervention.

But According to the district chairperson, Mr John Bosco Nambetsye, a Cabinet sub-committee intervened to settle the people of Bududa and they were given three options, of which they settled for the urbanisation of safe zones within Bududa. About Shs8 billion was apparently earmarked for the project under the Prime Minister’s office but nothing has been implemented.

Whereas government had suggested forced relocation, Mr Nambetsye said this would not work unless people were first counselled.

The population in Bududa is projected to be at about 200,000. Most of the residents are settled in danger zones.The mountainous areas are prone to landslides.

Between 2011 and 2013, about 1,000 people lost their lives as a result of the landslides. Locals, especially in Bulucheke Sub-county, were displaced and others driven into camps and later relocated to Kiryandongo.