Tuesday September 19 2017

Flash floods hit Elegu again, hundreds stranded

Residents stare at the submerged huts floods.

Residents stare at the submerged huts floods. File photo  

By JULIUS OCUNGI

GULU

A devastating flash flood has again swept through Elegu trading center in Atiak Sub-county Amuru District at the Uganda-South Sudan border point.

An eyewitness reported that the floods hit the area at about 7:30 pm.
Heavy downpour experienced in the last three days within Gulu and Amuru districts is said to have forced River Unyama to again burst its banks, sending fast flowing waters through the trading centre.

Mr Johnson Uma, a trader at Elegu Trading centre told this reporter that many people who were unaware of the floods have been trapped adding that some have sought refuge on rooftops and trees.
Mr Uma said people had earlier on been warned to vacate the area due to the heavy down pour experienced in the past three days but some didn’t take heed.

He said the areas submerged are Elegu Zone Two and Bibia West parishes in the eastern part of Elegu trading center.
“I’m seeing many phone torches being flashed right now; some from rooftops while others are from trees. The water level is rising really very fast and we are scared that by tomorrow the whole trading centre will be in water,” a seemingly nervous Mr Uma said.
He further noted that Elegu police station has been submerged.

Assistant Superintendent of Police [ASP] Gerald Kaheesi, the Officer in Charge of Elegu Police Station confirmed that the eastern side of the trading centre has been flooded.
He also acknowledged that the police station compound had been flooded but was quick to note that it's not as alarming as compared to last month’s floods.

"There is no cause for alarm. We warned the locals and traders early enough, the situation is not as worst as you may think," he told this reporter in a telephone interview.
He said they are monitoring the situation.

The disaster comes barely a month after the same area was hit by floods that killed two people, destroyed several semi-permanent structures and properties worth billions of shillings and displaced about 6,000 people.
Despite government warning of more floods hitting the area and the call for the locals mostly traders and farmers to vacate the affected areas, many didn’t heed to the calls and instead returned to resumed their businesses.

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