Govt should urgently rescue flood victims

Tuesday December 10 2019

People at a landslide site in Bunanjewa

People at a landslide site in Bunanjewa Village, Bumumulo Parish in Zesui 

By Editorial

Much of the spotlight over the heavy rain and flooding has been on Bududa and Sironko districts where lives and property have been lost. The people in Bugisu Sub-region, eastern Uganda, have gone through a lot of pain and incurred losses due to the mudslides that occur there often.
In this space a few days ago, our call was to government to speed up the relocation process of the people who live in mudslide-prone areas, including those in the east and west (in Bundibugyo) where at the weekend, 16 people were reported to have been killed due to floods and mudslides.
And while Bududa, Sironko and Bundibugyo have experienced the brunt of heavy rain, many other parts in the country have also been affected greatly. For example, Kaliro and Buyende districts in Busoga Sub-region were paralysed at the weekend following the flooding of a section of the road at Lumbuye Swamp, which connects Kaliro to Kamuli districts. The heavy rain washed away the culverts.
In northern Uganda last week, Pakwach-Karuma road was cut off by floods and travellers were left stranded for hours. Luweero District and Masaka have also been affected.
In Kampala and Wakiso, some roads have been rendered impassable. This is a recurring theme in the year during the wet seasons. Everyone knows what havoc the rains and floods can do, but each time they happen, it is as if we are facing such a problem and tragedy for the first time.
It is a shame that to this day, the government cannot get or steer proper machinery to help people retrieve their possessions or those trapped in the rubble as quickly as possible. It is a shame that people cannot be rescued quickly once they get trapped in their house when it gets flooded.
It is a shame that cars get stuck on muddy roads for days because they have not been worked on for so long. Worse still, they cannot get help from the district to tow their cars or remove them; they have to work on the problem themselves, spending a lot of money and wasting a lot of time.
It is also a shame that we have not tried to look at the silver lining and harvest all this water, which is freely given, by storing it for immediate or later use.
The government needs to stop burying its head in the sticky mud and get workable solutions for the flood victims.

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