Flash floods kill five people in one week

A vehicle is submerged in a drainage in Kyambogo, Kampala on September 20, 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Ms Irene Namutebi, a resident of Kampala, asked parents to watch out for their children during the rainy season.

Flash floods have killed at least five people across the country in one week, police have said.
The rains have caused flooding and destruction of property.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Kampala, the police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, identified one of the victims as an 8-year-old girl identified as Linda Nabukwasi, a pupil of Fright Care Junior School in Nakuwadde in Wakiso District, who was swept by running water.

According to Mr Enanga, Nabukwasi left school for home and rain poured before she reached home.  “While she was walking, she tried to jump a big trench but she slid and fell in running water that swept her away to Kireka Swamp where her body was recovered,” Mr Enanga said.

According to Mr Enanga, the second incident of drowning occurred at Kiduku Village, Kanyasi Parish in Kasese District where Mbambu Kelejia, a 38-year-old female adult and a peasant, drowned in Nyamuruge Sege stream as she went back to her home at around 7:30pm
“Mbambu was swept away and the body was recovered in Nyamugasani River on September 18 at 10am. She drowned while trying to cross one of the streams in Kasese,” Mr Enanga said.

Police identified the third victim as Robinah Namagembe who according to police was buried after loose soils collapsed at a stone quarry in Dyango village in Nakawuka-Kajjansi Town Council and buried her.

Mr Enanga added that the fourth victim was identified as Silver Orepot, a 13-year-old male, who on September 22 went with his relatives to swim in a swamp but drowned in Ompiyayi village in East Kyoga, Soroti District.
Following the rise in numbers of people drowning, the police, while issuing some of the safety guidelines that the public should follow to keep safe during the heavy rains, have tasked members of the public to be extra cautious.

“We have come up with safety tips following the heavy rains that are expected to fall from September up to December. Whenever we have drastic rains, there is a potential of affecting lives.  It is therefore important to take precautions in order to prevent loss of lives during this rainy season,” Mr Enanga said.

“We advise the public about the risks of floods and advise them, including motorists, on how to protect themselves. People living in low-lying areas or next to streams have to exhibit a lot of caution if not evacuate to safer places or higher grounds when the water levels rise and also take special care during storms as sudden floods can easily affect them,” Mr Enanga said.

Other guidelines
He added: “There is a danger of water flowing over roads and low bridges, you need to be careful because flowing water applies pressure to contact areas. The higher the speed of the water, the higher the pressure, so we advise motorists to be careful and not drive through flowing water because you don’t know the state of the roads or bridges.”

Storms are expected, and the public is urged, to avoid standing under trees and also vacate river banks and lake shores.
There is also a danger of destruction of structures, especially people staying in low lying areas, ghettos and slums where structures are weak.
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority last month revealed that Ugandans should expect and be prepared for heavy rains that are expected to go on up to December.
Public speaks out
Ms Irene Namutebi, a resident of Kampala, asked parents to watch out for their children during the rainy season.
“Children are vulnerable, as parents, do not allow your children to play in the rain or play in flooded areas, they may drown and you will lose them,” Ms Namutebi said yesterday.
Mr Simon Okello, a resident of Wakiso District, urged the public to follow the guidelines to save lives.

“If the government says don’t go here, or if they say those living in a certain area should relocate, do as they say so that we stay alive,” Mr Okello said.