12 dead, scores missing in Bundibugyo floods

Saturday December 7 2019

A woman walks through a flooded s

A woman walks through a flooded section to a safer point. Photo by Longino Muhindo 

By Longino Muhindo

At least 12 people have been confirmed dead and several others missing following floods that were triggered by heavy rains in Harugale in  the western district of Bundibugyo.

Uganda Red Cross on Saturday said their search and rescue team was working with the military to rescue stranded people as rains continue to pound different parts of the country.

“Bundibugyo floods; so far 11 confirmed dead. Our teams are working with the Military police to manage the situation. Search and rescue efforts underway,” the humanitarian organization tweeted on Saturady. However, the death toll has risen  with fears that more people were washed away by flash floods.

Mr Richard Gafabusa, the Member of Parliament for Bwamba County, in Bundibugyo District said that he had contacted the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Relief, Mr Musa Ecweru about the disastrous situation in the district.

Residents near a flooded section of the road.
Residents near a flooded section of the road. Photo by Longino Muhindo

“He is currently in Mount Elgon region together with most of his technical staff, coordinating related disaster response. He has directed his office to dispatch food and non-food items for emergency relief this evening. This might arrive in Bundibugyo tomorrow [Sunday] in the morning or afternoon, Mr Richard Gafabusa said.

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According to the MP, government has pledged to contribute Shs500,000 as burial expenses for those who died in the disaster.

Fort Portal - Bundibugyo Road has been cut off
Fort Portal - Bundibugyo Road has been cut off after Bundibugyo town, 85 kilometres to Lamia border. For now, there is no alternative route to Lamia border.

“The information received so far from Red Cross is that 12 people have so been found dead. The burials should go on but the money will come next week,” Mr Gafabusa said on Saturday.

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Christopher Kibanzanga who doubles as MP Bughendera County, Bundibugyo District also appealed for government’s quick response.

"We appeal to government, humanitarian agencies and men and women of goodwill to extend a helping hand," he said.

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) on Saturday also said FortPortal - Bundibugyo road had been cut off at Km 85 [after Bundibugyo town] towards Lamia border.
“For now, no alternative route to Lamia border. Our Fortportal team is already on ground unblocking culverts filled with stones from the hilly slopes,” the UNRA media relations manager Mr Allan Ssempebwa said. 

 

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