Thursday May 24 2018

Hundreds displaced as floods ravage Butaleja

A man trying to save some of his household

A man trying to save some of his household property from his submerged huts. Photo by Yahudu Kitunzi 

By YAHUDU KITUNZI

Hundreds of residents in different sub-counties in Butaleja District have been displaced by floods from River Manafwa.
Over 150 houses have been submerged and household items such as beddings, clothes, domestic birds and animals have been washed away by the floods leaving residents in tears following the Wednesday down pour on Wednesday night.
Local leaders have put the number of those affected and in urgent need of relief to at least 2,000.

The floods, triggered by heavy rains that have been pounding Mt Elgon Sub-region for the last two month, also destroyed gardens of crops like cassava, potatoes, beans, maize, groundnuts and livestock.
When Daily Monitor visited the area, some of the victims had taken refuge at their relatives’ homes as others were wandering without shelter, food and clothing.
The most affected sub counties are Himutu and Mazimasa.
The Himutu Sub County NRM Chairperson, Mr Mugole Wilson said the affected families are living miserably without shelter and food.
“This is hard to believe. Everything has been washed away including hundreds of gardens of millet, maize and sorghum. The people even have no shelter and food,” Mr Mugole, said.

Mr Mugole explained that River Manafwa, which meanders through various districts, burst its banks and flooded into people’s homes.
Mr Fabiano Higenyi, the Himutu Sub County LC3 chairperson, said most of the displaced families have sought refuge at schools while others are being hosted by neighbors and relatives.
“As local leaders, we do not have enough resources to support the affected families but we have appealed to the district authorities for help,” said Mr Higenyi.
Mr Michael Higenyi, a resident said the flooding has also devastated many roads in the district making them impassable.
“The road from Mbale-Butaleja-Busolwe, which is the main link between the two districts, has been cut off by floods for two weeks now. We appeal to both Ministry of Works and UNRA to intervene and repair the affected roads,” Mr Higenyi, said.
Butaleja District Woman MP, Ms Milly Mugeni describing the situation as grave, said the affected families need urgent financial and moral support.
“We appeal to government and other NGOs to intervene because the situation is too bad on the ground,” she said.
ykitunzi@ug.nationmedia.com

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