Thursday May 29 2014

Flood victims cry for help

Mr Charles Mwesigye (L), a farmer in Kasese District, assess the damage in his tomato garden after floods destroyed it.

Mr Charles Mwesigye (L), a farmer in Kasese District, assess the damage in his tomato garden after floods destroyed it. PHOTO BY ENID NINSIIMA 

By Enid Ninsiima & Thembo Kahungu Misairi


More than 40 residents of Kyondo Cell, who were affected by floods in Kasese District, have accused the government of neglecting them.

Led by their LCI chairperson, Mr Emmanuel Katuramu, they alleged that since the floods devastated their area twice, none of the district officials has bothered to visit them. “I have seen many trucks carrying relief items but I am surprised to see that the real victims have not benefited,” Mr Katuramu said.

Early this month, River Nyamwamba burst its banks, displacing thousands of people, claiming eight lives.
One of the victims, Mr Francis Chandia, 24, relocated to Salute Cell after floods destroyed his bricks worth more than Shs3 million that he had made for sale.

“For the two times I have experienced floods, I only received a jerry can and a basin from Uganda Red Cross Society last week. I am in dire need like any person affected,” Mr Chandia said.

Another victim, Mr Charles Kwetegyeka, 50, lost his two-acres of cabbage where he was expecting to earn more than Shs2 million.
“I have lost income, food and shelter but no one has come to my rescue. How can a person who lost gardens be given a water guard, a jerry can and basin instead of receiving food and seeds for planting?” he asked.

However, the assistant chief administrative officer, Mr Wilson Asaba, also the district chairperson of the disaster committee, said they had identified all affected people and they would be helped accordingly. Mr Asaba said only 10 households from Kyondo Cell were identified and given help.


Meanwhile, the government plans to divert River Nyamwamba to its original course, the State Minister for Works, Mr John Byabagambi, has said. Addressing leaders and flood victims in Kasese last Friday, Mr Byabagambi said President Museveni has directed that works on the river and the construction of the new bridges start as soon as possible. The minister estimates that works on the river, roads and bridges will cost more than Shs50b.