Mbale floods: UPDF officer killed as death toll rises to nine, scores missing

Residents seen trying to retrieve a car from a flooded banana plantation in Namakwekwe, Mbale District after Nabuyonga and Namatala rivers burst their banks on July 31, 2022 following all-night rain. PHOTOS/ YAHUDU KITUNZI

What you need to know:

  • Scores feared dead in Mbale District after Nabuyonga and Namatala rivers burst their banks this morning following all-night rain.

A Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) officer is among nine people whose bodies have so far been recovered following floods that swept through Mbale District in eastern Uganda. Several other people are said to be missing with fears that the death could be higher than what is reported so far. 

This is after the rain that started on Saturday at 8pm until about 7am on Sunday left Namabasa, Busajabwankuba, Busamaga, Nkoma, Milo taano and Mbale industrial park where properties worth millions of shillings have been devastated by floods.

Mr Ahamada Waashaki, the Mbale City Resident Commissioner said on Sunday that bodies of nine people have so far been recovered after Namatala, Namatsi and Nashibiso rivers burst their banks.

He added that there are fears that several other people have died, especially boda boda riders and drivers of small vehicles.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja who on Sunday visited the affected areas said she was sent by President Museveni to assess the situation. 
“The president is aware of this disaster. We are here to assess the situation and give support where necessary and to evacuate the survivors. We are in touch with UPDF and police to send marine officers to search for the victims and bodies,” she said before blaming the disaster on environmental degradation in the area.
According to her, the residents who are destroying the environment “will bring us problem. This disaster is due to environmental degradation.”
“I believe it could have been avoided if people respected the environment,” she added.

Monitor reporter saw some bodies floating in the water as members of different families were seen searching for their missing relatives.

Three vehicles are also said to have plunged into river Namatala where some of the victims are reported to have died from.

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) said the road network  haf breen cut off along Mbale—Nkokonjeru and Mbale—Soroti road at Nabuyonga Bridge.
Woke up to catastrophic effects of flooding in the Eastern part of Uganda. Our road network is equally  affected; mudslides cutting off access along Mbale—Nkokonjeru rd at Km 08 to 13 & along Mbale—Soroti road at Nabuyonga Bridge. Inspections are ongoing for needed interventions," UNRA tweeted Sunday.


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