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Kasese residents to blame for floods, says Museveni

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President Museveni (R) tours the flood-affected areas in the Rwenzori mountains on Wednesday. With him is Works state minister John Byabagambi (C R) and Kasese District chairperson Mawa Muhindo. PHOTO BY ENID NINSIIMA 

By ENID NINSIIMA & FELIX BASIIME

Posted  Thursday, May 15  2014 at  21:28

In Summary

Accusation. The President says people’s poor farming methods on the mountain slopes have led to the floods

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Kasese.
President Museveni has blamed the annual flooding on the slopes of Mountain Rwenzori in Kasese District on residents’ settlement patterns.
Last week, heavy floods swept the district, killing three people and destroying several properties, including Kilembe hospital.
But while touring the district on Wednesday, President Museveni said people’s poor farming methods have led to the floods.
“The way you have settled on the hills has contributed much to this disaster. You have removed every vegetation on the hills, leaving it bare like a head without hair,” Mr Museveni told residents.

“Kilembe has been attacked by a bomb that is done by our own river (Nyamwamba) that has been mismanaged. You have the rain factory in Rwenzori mountains but you do not know how to manage it,” he added.
The President advised the residents to plant commercial trees alongside gardens to stop soil erosion.

Mr Museveni was also amazed to see the bare Rwenzori Mountains. “I have just seen the hills are bare and I wonder how you people survive. What has happened to prosperity for all here? I will come back and we see what to do”, he said.

The President admitted that it was government’s failure to de-silt and recourse River Nyamwamba in time as Kilembe Mines Ltd used to do in the past.

Museveni pledge
“I am very sorry for what happened here. We need to build the artificial river bank that was holding the water after it was rechanneled from the left side during mining. Please identify the families of those who lost their people so that they can be helped,” Mr Museveni noted.

The area Woman MP, Ms Winfred Kiiza, who was part of the tour, said the problem would have been controlled if government was taking precautions.
“Uganda’s problem is fire-fighting but not risk management. I hope the President will cause a change from what we see here,” Ms Kiiza said