Famine looms as mudslides wreak havoc in Namisindwa

Monday June 15 2020

Damage. A man stands near a landslide scene in Nabukelema Cell, Nambewo Ward in Magaleo Town Council,Namisindwa District on Friday. PHOTO BY YAHUDU KITUNZI.

Residents in Magale Town Council in Namisindwa District are counting losses after their crops were destroyed by mudslides and floods.

This happened after a downpour on Friday which also left more than 200 families at risk of displacement after some of the houses were flooded in Nabukelema and Matafwali cells in Nambewo Ward.

Mr Michael Wasike, the LC1 chairperson of Nabukelema, said there is looming hunger.
“Several gardens of beans and maize have been destroyed by the mudslides and floods creating fear of hunger,” Mr Wasike said.

Mr Wasike said some of the affected families, have already sought shelter at Magale Town Council offices as they wait for government intervention.

“The leaders should intervene and rescue the affected residents, who need urgent relocation because their houses are in the vicinity of the mudslides,” he said.
Mr Phillip Walware, one of the affected residents, said his house was submerged by the floods and his gardens were destroyed.

“I’m now stuck, I do not know where to start from. I ask our leaders to come to our rescue,” he said.
The district vice chairperson of Red Cross, Mr Anthony Namasata, said more than 60 houses in the area are at a high risk, adding that families need to be relocated before they are trapped by a second round of flooding.


“Our preliminary assessment indicates that more than 50 households have lost crops and more than 500 people are affected in two villages,” Mr Namasata said.
Mr Rogers Wolyama, the councillor of Magale Town Council, blamed the government for the delay to relocate the residents to safer areas.

“People are living in fear and they want to relocate but they have nowhere to go. The government is not serious in rescuing our people,” Mr Wolyama said.

The Namisindwa Resident District Commissioner, Mr Moses Kigai Wamoto, said they have written to the Office of the Prime Minister and are waiting for a response.

“I have directed the affected people to relocate with immediate effect to safe places,” Mr Wamoto said.
The area district woman Member of Parliament, Ms Grace Namukhula Watuwa, called upon the government to speed up the process of relocating people in landslide-prone areas.

“We urge the government to speed up the relocation of residents at risk to safer areas,” Ms Namukhula said.

Recurring problem.
In December, last year, several people were killed when landslides hit Bududa and Sironko districts.
In Bududa, more than 47 people were feared dead while more than 300 families were displaced.

In Sironko, more than eight people were feared dead while about 100 families were displaced.
In May, last year, the government started relocating survivors of landslides on the slopes of Mt Elgon to permanent homes in Bunambutye resettlement camp in Bulambuli district.

Currently, the resettlement site is currently hosting about 241 families comprising of more than 4000 people, who have been relocated so far.
Each household gets a two-bedroom house on an acre of land, with another two acres for agriculture