More than 1,000 people who were displaced by floods that hit Bundibugyo District on Saturday have registered at two reception centres which government has set up in the district.
The internally displaced persons are being accommodated at Semuliki High Secondary School in Harugale Sub County and at Bubukwanga Transit camp in Bubukwanga Sub County.
“At Semuliki Secondary School, so far 1,114 people have registered while nine victims have registered at Bubukwanga” said Ms Irene Nakasiita, the head of Communication and Public relations at Uganda Red Cross Society.
However, by press time, more people were turning up at the reception centres seeking for relief aid.
The district became flooded leading to landslides Saturday following heavy down pour. The heavy rains caused rivers and seasonal streams to overflow.
The district has a mountainous terrain. The rains washed away several crops, properties and soil from uphill and poured them down in the valleys and rivers.
Police teamed up with UPDF, district authorities and humanitarian agencies to respond to the emergency.
Corporal Hannington Agaba, a Community Conservation Ranger at Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) attached to Semuliki national park was filmed by humanitarian workers as he physically lifted children and elderly women from the floods that swept through their homes in Harugale Sub County.
The floods cut off several roads which were later opened by Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in a joint operation with district authorities and humanitarian agencies.
Some of the affected people were trapped in rubbles while others stood on top of their houses as they screamed for help.
Some of the deceased identified
Police has identified some of the deceased victims as Elijah Nyamu Twangana, 43, Kabugho Mulasi, 14, Muhindo Milade,3, Joseline Thungu, 6, zabakaba Brillian, 4 months, Linnet Nyangoma, 7, Kamara Poswan, 3, Situwate Alivin, three months and Kiiza Alnight, 5.
According to humanitarian officials, the most affected areas are Kirumya parish in Harugale subcounty, Basalu Sub County, Bukonzo, Kirumya parish in Ntotoro subcounty, Tokwe Sub County, Bubukwanga and Bundibugyo town council.
Red Cross Society said they had counted 17 bodies of the victims so far retrieved by Wednesday afternoon but efforts to trace people who are said to be missing are underway.
“The rains are still ongoing but lucky enough UNRA is on the ground opening up drainage channels and culverts to enable water flow normally,” the Bundibugyo District Police Commander Mr Taban Swaib said.
He said two people who sustained injuries in the floods are currently admitted at Kayenje health centre IV where they are receiving medication.
By press time, the state Minister for disaster Mr Musa Ecweru had arrived in the district and he had started inspecting the affected areas.
“Red Cross Volunteers are conducting a thorough house to house assessment to establish needs of the people. The situation is a little calm but the affected families are in dire need of food, water, hygiene facilities, medicine and other necessities,” said Nakasiita.
Red Cross delivered the first consignment of relief items on December 8 where over 190 families benefited from the soap, tarpaulins, blankets and other household items that were donated. The families were also served hot meals.
“We are mobilizing resources for a better comprehensive plan to support these people for about a month. We hope when the situation normalizes, the displaced families will voluntarily return to their homes,” Nakasiita said.
A yet to be identified woman who lost four people in the floods collapsed and was rushed to hospital. She is currently receiving treatment, Nakasiita said.
Government through the office of the Prime Minister donated a consignment of food and nonfood commodities to the affected families on Sunday.
“The office of the Prime Minister is now making another delivery of 1,100 bags of rice, 1,000 pieces of blankets, 1,000 pieces of sleeping mats, 200 pieces of nylon ropes for fixing tents, 30 rolls of plastic rolls for shelter, 30 wheel barrows, 500 pieces of buckets, 50 cartons of soap, 300 pieces of axes, 1,000 pieces of shovels, 500 pieces of metallic buckets and 100 pieces of slabs” the Permanent secretary in the office of the Prime Minister wrote to the Bundibigyo Chief Administrative officer on December 12.
“Using the district disaster management committee together with representatives of the RDC, DISO, you are required to identify and register only households displaced by floods and landslides between September and December 2019. Some of the items should be used by the community in search for missing persons,” the letter signed off by Mr Martin Owor, the commissioner of disaster preparedness and management on behalf of the PS reads in part.
He directed that families that lost their dear ones should be given 200 kilograms of rice each, 5 pieces of blankets, 5 pieces of mats, one carton of soap, 3 pieces of buckets and any other item the CAO deems them to need.