Disasters in Bunyoro

Monday December 31 2012

By Francis Mugerwa

Disease outbreaks and natural disasters tortured Bunyoro in 2012 with several lives and property destroyed as a result.

Ebola
In Kibaale District, 20 people were killed following an outbreak of Ebola. The hemorrhagic fever, first reported in Nyanswiga Village, Nyamarunda Sub-county, spread to other sub-counties and sent residents fleeing from the affected areas.

One of the patients, Hope Nazziwa, fled from the isolation ward at Kagadi Hospital but was traced by the Ebola task-force team and returned to the ward. A nurse at Kagadi Hospital, Claire Muhumuza and her four-months-old baby, Milka Ninsiima, were among those who died of Ebola.

Medical officials also followed up more than 600 people who got into contact with Ebola patients.
The government declared the district Ebola- free on October 4, a decision taken 42 days after discharging the last ebola-positive patient from the hospital.

Cholera
A few days after containing the deadly Ebola epidemic, cholera broke out in Kibaale District at the landing sites in Ndaiga Sub-county, killing two people and leaving 14 others hospitalised at Kyaterekera Health Centre. The disease had earlier broken out in April and left more than 100 affected.

Cholera also affected various fishing communities in Kibaale, Hoima and Buliisa districts, with more than 1,000 people infected. In Hoima, 708 cases of cholera were reported on June 8 and 16 people died of the disease.

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In Buliisa District, the disease forced authorities to postpone the opening of the second term by a week to lay strategies for curbing the prevalence of the epidemic. Six deaths and 760 cases were registered.

Floods
Bunyoro sub-region also received heavy downpour in October and November, resulting into flooding in several low-lying areas. River Nkusi burst its banks on November 6 and paralysed transport along the Kagadi-Hoima road.

Uganda National Roads Authority engineers confirmed that floods had washed away culverts at one of the tributaries of River Wambabya and cut off Bugambe-Katasiha road in Hoima District. Nkusi River also flooded along the Kikwaya-Bugwara-Isunga road in Kibaale District.

More than 500 families were affected by the floods which killed two people - Patrick Mugenyi, 57, and his daughter, Kayesu of Rwebigaga village in Kibaale District.

The floods caused delays in delivery of the 2012 Primary Leaving Examinations as key roads were cut off. In Hoima, P.7 candidates in at least five schools started their exams 30 minutes late since roads to schools were cut off.

As the sub-region welcomes 2013, authorities have been urged to learn from the previous incidents and look for ways of averting such disasters and disease outbreaks.

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