Elgon landslides: 16 bodies recovered

Wednesday December 11 2019

Retrieved. Residents lift one of the bodies recovered during a search for landslides victims at Namasa village, Bushika Sub- county in Bududa on Monday. PHOTO BY LEONARD MUKOOLI

At least 16 bodies have so far been recovered after landslides swept through villages in the mountainous districts of Sironko and Bududa in Bugisu Sub-region last Tuesday.
Ten bodies were retrieved from Naposhi and Namasa Villages in Bushika Sub-county and two from Naroko in Bunabutiti Sub-county.

Other four bodies were recovered from Bunagisa Village, Bumumulo Parish in Zesui Sub-county.
According to leaders and residents in both districts, more than 60 people are feared dead while scores are missing. More than 500 displaced families have sought refuge in churches and schools.

The landslides also destroyed properties, gardens and killed unspecified number of animals.
The landslides are a result of rain that has been pounding the sub-region.

In Sironko, more than eight people are also feared dead while about 1,000 others have been displaced with some seeking refuge at Bugimagu Primary school. The affected residents who are surviving on porridge have accused government of abandoning them.

The Bududa District chairperson, Mr Wilson Watira, said residents in the affected areas need to be relocated to safer places.

“The displaced people should stay in schools, churches, and trading centres as they wait for help. We don’t want to lose more people,” Mr Watira said.


Mr Francis kutosi, the chairperson of Naposhi Village,said: “I appreciate the rescue team because they are committed and we believe that if the excavator is given more days our people will be recovered.”

Ms Sylvia Namutosi, a 36-year-old resident who lost her seven family members in the landslide, said she has been able to find three.

“We have buried three and this has strengthen us and indicated that we will find all of them to conduct a decent burial for them” she said.

She urged the government to provide them with food, safe water for drinking as they wait to relocate.

Govt blamed
Mr Patrick Kahenje, the Bugimagu Primary School camp leader, said the Office of the Prime Minister, has not delivered any relief items to the victims since the disaster occurred.

“OPM and district officials have not stepped here since the disaster occurred and yet we have a number of challenges, including food, bedding and shelter. Government has neglected us. They have left us to suffer especially children,” Mr Kahenje said.

Mr Paul Mukwana, the Zesui Sub-county Gombolola Internal Security Officer, said the most affected parishes include Simuma, Bukomolo, Kiboli, Bulejewa and Nabweya in zesui Sub -County.
He said the victims are surviving on mercies of sympathizers in the area.

"Most people have nowhere to stay because all their houses were destroyed. Due to failure by the government to provide the relief to the victims, some of them are threatening to leave the camp,” he said.