Landslide destroys three villages in Bududa

Monday August 28 2017

Residents look at one of the areas where the

Residents look at one of the areas where the landslide occurred. PHOTO BY LEONARD MUKHOOLI 

By Fred Wambede and Leonard Mukooli

BUDUDA. A landslide has destroyed three villages in Bulucheke Sub-County of Bududa District in the Mount Elgon region.

According to district official, Houses have been knocked down, livestock buried and at least 200 people from forty families displaced.
The affected villages are Marobo and Shikhuyu in Buluchecke Sub-county and Nabutsasi in Bumayoka Sub-county.

The displaced persons have sought refuge either with relatives or at the nearby Bunamubi, Bulucheke and Kushu trading centres.

Although there are no reports of deaths or injuries, rescue workers and volunteers are have gone to the area to assess the extent of damage.

Ms Alice Nambozo, one of the affected residents, says the calamity occurred at 5pm on Sunday after a huge mass of soil broke off from uphill, toppling their houses and destroying farmlands.

“It buried my house while I was seeing. We only survived because it was during daytime and [we were] out of the house,” she says, adding: “Everything has been buried, but we are lucky that no one has died.”

Ms Boniface Nangaka, a resident of Shikuyu village, says most of them are living in fear and have nowhere to relocate.

Bududa district Deputy Speaker Aidah Mukuwa says up to 200 people are affected and property worth millions of shillings destroyed. She, however, did not cite her source of the information.

She says residents are on the edge, fearing a repeat land or mudslide as torrential rains continue to pound the area.

Majiya County Member of Parliament John Nambeshe says this disaster was impending.

“There are so many fresh cracks that have developed in the mountain. We are sitting on a time bomb and residents have stubbornly refused to relocate to safer areas,” he said.

The State minister for Environment, Ms Gorretti Kitutu blamed the mudslides on invasive human activities.

“The trees that hold the soils together have been cut down because of cultivation,” she said.

Bududa has been prone to land and mudslides for generations. The worst happened on March 1, 2010 when more than 300 people were buried in Nametsi.