Mbale floods: Govt gives Shs5 million to victims

People wait on the riverbank of Nabuyonga River. Government has given Shs5 million as condolences for each of the flood victims in Mbale City, the State House said in a statement on August 4. PHOTO/YAHUDU KITUNZI

What you need to know:

  • The President also assured the displaced persons that government, through the Prime Minister’s Office, would assist them in all ways possible.

President Museveni has given Shs5 million as condolences for each of the flood victims in Mbale City, the State House said in a statement yesterday.

According to State House, a total of Shs115 million is being delivered by the Minister for the Presidency, Ms Babirye Milly Babalanda, to the affected people as condolences, and to help in burial arrangements.

At least 23 people were killed after heavy rain caused floods in various parts of the city, according to the government.

Mr Faruk Kirunda, the deputy presidential press secretary, said the minister is moving from family to family to deliver the condolences.  

“The victims were buried in different areas. Right now they are covering [districts in] Bugisu and tomorrow they will be heading to other districts,” he said.

In his message delivered by Ms Babalanda to the families and the people of Mbale, Mr Museveni described the incident as regrettable, but blamed it on the residents who he said did not take his advice to protect the environment.

He added that the resident district and city commissioners and their deputies were instructed to ensure that there is no encroachment on the protected environment.

“We cannot afford to lose any more lives and to continue spending big sums of money to resettle those affected at a time when the government is committing more funds to wealth creation efforts such as Parish Development Model. On Friday (today), I will address the nation to give more guidance on how we can deal with these incidents,” Mr Museveni said.

The President also assured the displaced persons that government, through the Prime Minister’s Office, would assist them in all ways possible.

LOP decries govt’s poor response to Mbale disaster

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Mathias Mpuuga, has accused the government of poor response to the floods that left 29 people killed in Bugisu and Sebei sub-regions. 

“I am not surprised by the sluggish response of the regime but I am equally shocked by their ineptness,” Mr Mpuuga said. 

Mr Mpuuga made remarks while touring the flood-affected villages in Mbale City yesterday. He noted that some of the deaths could have been prevented if police acted fast. 

“A highway was closed by water but they could not block the road to stop traffic from moving,” he said. 

However, Mr Rogers Taitika, Elgon region police spokesperson, said: “We did what we could and for us, we know we executed our mandate. By 3am, we had already reached the ground so it is not true that we slept on the job.” 

Mr Mpuuga said if the issue was political, the government would have acted with swiftness and perfection.  The Opposition also donated two tonnes of food relief to the displaced victims. 

The government through the Office of the Prime Minister sent 40 tonnes of posho and 20 tonnes of beans, which they started distributing to the affected families on Thursday. The government also provided 150 tarpaulins for displaced families- Additional reporting by Micheal Woniala and Yahudu Kitunzi

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