800 flood victims demand relocation

Floods in Kasese destroyed gabions that were constructed by Ambitious Construction Company Limited on River Nyamwamba in Kasese Municipality. PHOTO/JOEL KAGUTA

What you need to know:

  • The floods, which occurred in May 2020, rendered a total of 875 individuals’ homeless.

More than 800 Internally Displaced Persons(IDP) in the Kasese District, who fell victim to the 2020 floods,  have asked the government to urgently resettle them.

For the past four years, the victims have endured dire conditions living in makeshift structures at Muhokya camp.

The locals say the government’s pledge made by the Prime Minister, Ms Robbinah Nabbanja, in July 2021 to resettle them has never been fulfilled.

Ms Rehema Aryema, the chairperson of Muhokya IDP camp, said they are living in unbearable conditions. 

“‘The government should provide essentials such as soap, sugar, and Taplins for shelter. They last did it two-and-a half years ago,’’ she said at the weekend.

She added that during the Prime Minister’s visit in 2021, some relief items such as mosquito nets and blankets were rejected because they were of poor standards.

“Our hopes for resettlement into permanent land are fading because the district leaders don’t have any feedback,” she said.

Mr Julius Mbusa, a resident of the Muhokya IDP Camp, said whenever it rains, their houses flood.
“When it rains, water enter into our makeshift houses, and the taplins provided by authorities are old,” he said.

Mr Mbusa added that the makeshift toilets flood during the rainy season, posing a risk of a cholera outbreak.
“There is also lack of security in the camp. It is situated in an open space near the Kasese-Mbarara road, leaving them vulnerable to potential attacks, particularly from ADF rebels,’’ he said.

Ms Margaret Musiimenta, a mother and resident at the camp, said there are increasing instances of teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

The chairperson of Kasese, Mr Muhindi Erifaz Bukombi, said the government has done several interventions since the 2020 floods on River Nyamwamba, including desilting part of the river.

“We asked the government to procure land for our people so that they leave the camp,’’ he said.
We were unable to get a comment from the Office of the Prime Minister by press time yesterday.

2020 floods
The floods, which occurred in May 2020, rendered a total of 875 individuals’ homeless.

The catastrophe was triggered by the overflow of several rivers, including Nyamwamba, Nyamugasani, Mubuku, Thako, Sebwe, Namuhuga, Ngagi and Lamiya.