Govt delivers relief to Masaka rainstorm victims

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja inspects one of the affected houses in Bihororo Village, Kyesiiga Sub-County, Masaka District on October 28, 2021. PHOTO | WILSON KUTAMBA

What you need to know:

  • Many districts in Uganda frequently suffer heavy rain storms at onset of seasonal rainfall, but many households are still reluctant to plant at least 10 trees annually to serve as wind breakers as advised by environmentalists.
  • The months from August to December usually constitute the second major rain season in central Uganda, but weather experts recently predicted that the rain will be destructive in some parts of the country  and urged the public to be alert.

Government has donated an assortment of relief items to 4,915 residents in Kyesiiga and Kyanamukaka sub counties who were early this week affected by a heavy rainstorm that hit the area. 

The items which were delivered by the Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, in the company of former Vice President, Mr Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, on Thursday afternoon included two tonnes of maize flour (20,000kg), 1 tonnes of beans, 1000 kg of sugar and 500 iron sheets .

A rain storm on Tuesday night characterised by heavy winds swept through 23 villages and left a seven- month baby dead after deroofing 1,260 houses  and completely destroying about 221 houses and 3,800 acres of banana, coffee plantations and pineapple gardens.

According to Ms Nabbanja, the government swiftly responded after learning that the storm left many families and homes in shambles without anything to eat.

“I have directed officials from my office to remain here (Kyesiiga) and supervise the distribution of relief items to ensure that all the victims are covered,” she said.

Ms Nabbanja said her office would equally dispatch a consignment of fast growing crops seeds such as tomatoes, cabbages for farmers to grow in the remaining two months of the rainy season.

Vice President emeritus, Mr Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, who hails from the affected area applauded Ms Nabbajja for swiftly responding to the cries of victims.

“I want to appreciate Prime Minister’s office led by Ms Nabbanja who has personally come here to see what befell our people and gave us relief items,” he said.

Mr Richard Ssebamala, the area Member of Parliament also appreciated the quick response by the government, but expressed concern that the donated food items may last for only three weeks .

“As leaders from this area, we have also mobilised some maize flour and beans, but the number of residents who need food is big and we call upon other well-wishers to intervene," he said 

Ms Joan Namutaawe, Masaka District Woman MP, asked the government to consider constructing temporary homes for victims whose houses were completely destroyed   by the rain storm.

 Mr Charles Kasumika, who lost a baby in the disaster, his house was razed to the ground and household property destroyed, said he currently lacks shelter for his   family members.

“I was really left with nothing because even my banana and coffee plantations have been destroyed .So, I lack shelter and what to eat,” he said   

Ms Teopista Lule Ssenkungo, the Masaka District Resident District Commissioner (RDC) advised residents to desist from cutting down trees which act as wind breakers to save them from such disasters.

“When you look at natural forests around this sub county like Bwanika forest reserve, they have been depleted and there are no trees. Let’s start valuing our environment, other than that, more serious disasters will hit this area,” she said
Many districts in Uganda frequently suffer heavy rain storms at onset of seasonal rainfall, but many households are still reluctant to plant at least 10 trees annually to serve as wind breakers as advised by environmentalists.

The months from August to December usually constitute the second major rain season in central Uganda, but weather experts recently predicted that the rain will be destructive in some parts of the country  and urged the public to be alert.

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