Friday September 5 2014

Heavy rains ravage Karamoja, displace 500

A vehicle wades through a slippery road in

A vehicle wades through a slippery road in Napak District recently. Heavy rains have rendered many parts of Karamoja inaccessible. PHOTO BY Steven Ariong 

By Steven Ariong

At least 500 families in Amudat District have been displaced and their crops destroyed following torrential rain that hit the area on Wednesday.

The worst hit areas are the suburbs of Amudat Town Council that include Amudat ward, Kapetawoi and Lotetebe. An estimated 700 hectares of sorghum green gram were destroyed.
Ms Betty Cheruto of Kapetawoi village said floods washed away her hut and six hectares of a maize garden. Several household items were damaged and her chicken killed by floods. Mr Charles Lokoroi Lokwi, the town clerk, said the flooding was the first of its kind to hit the district.

Mr William Bwatwum, the district chairperson, appealed to the Office of the Prime Minister and humanitarian organisations to come to the rescue of the stranded residents. Most of the displaced people, he said, are sleeping in classrooms.
The rainy season has left Moroto-Soroti road in bad shape. Vehicles carrying passengers and goods got stuck at Olim-lim village. Two buses that left Moroto for Kampala and Mbale respectively got stuck.

The Napak District Police Commander, Mr Francis Tumwesigye, said the over 140 passengers are stranded with nothing to eat.
The persistent rains and surface flooding have destroyed several roads in the sub region in the last one month making movement difficult.

Drivers speak out
Mr Patrick Wabwire, a lorry driver, said the current condition of the roads in Karamoja was greatly affecting business in the region.
“For the last three days I have been stuck here in Okudud and all my maize flour has got spoiled and yet the money that I used to run this business I got it from the bank,” he said.
Mr Hassan Ssentamu, the UNRA station engineer, blamed the state of the roads on the heavy rains. He said engineers were busy making some repairs on the road to enable traffic flow.