Tuesday August 26 2014

Fresh fears as more cracks appear on Mt Elgon slopes

 A soldier points at one of the cracks in Bumayoka S

A soldier points at one of the cracks in Bumayoka Sub-county, Bududa District. PHOTO BY DAVID MAFABI  

By David Mafabi

Bududa- Safety concerns have reemerged in Bududa District after fresh cracks appeared on the Mt Elgon slopes following heavy rains in the area.

A council sitting last week heard that the cracks have been sighted in Bulucheke, Bubita, Bududa, Bushika, Bumwalukani, Bukigai, Mabono, Bushiyi, Bumayoka, Makyenya and Nametsi parish, the scene of the 2010 mudslides that covered about 200 people.

The LC5 chairperson, Mr John Bosco Nambeshe, told the council that the heavy rains pose a threat of another mudslide if government does not relocate residents urgently.

This comes barely two years after the National Environment Management Authority and Uganda Wildlife Authority discovered a 40-kilometre crack on the mountain that is threatening lives of about 8,000 people.

Mr Nambeshe said although the council passed a resolution on July 23, 2012 to urbanise the areas for settlement of the people living on the slopes of Mt Elgon, a Cabinet sub-committee tasked to resettle the people has not done anything.

“We unanimously settled for the urbanisation of safe zones within Bududa to resettle our people. But even when about Shs8 billion has apparently been released for the project, there is nothing on ground,” Mr Nambeshe said.

Mr Patrick Mweru, the Bubiita Sub-county councillor, appealed to the government to provide more equipment like excavators and bulldozers to Bududa as part of its preparedness to save people from disasters.

When contacted for comment on phone, the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Mr Musa Ecweru, said government is in the final stages of resettling the people of Bududa.