MPs ask govt to avail lasting solutions to floods

Left to right: MPs Karim Masaba (Mbale City), John Musila (Bubulo East), and Isaac Modoi (Lutseshe) address  journalists at Parliament on August 1, 2022. PHOTO | DAVID LUBOWA

Legislators have asked the government to provide long-term solutions to floods and landslides that are currently wrecking havoc in Bugisu and Sebei sub-regions following heavy rain. 

The MPs made the remarks yesterday on behalf of the leadership of the Bugisu Parliamentary Caucus who were in their respective constituencies to assess the situation on ground.

Dozens of people have died and property has been destroyed in the floods.

Mr John Musila (Bubulo East) said he had previously given a warning on the floor of Parliament about the pending catastrophe. 

“I said it and it has come to pass. We are not here for any blame games but rather call upon government to move in and act fast,” Mr Musila said. 

Although Ms Robinah Nabbanja, the prime minister, paid a visit to Mbale City at the weekend to assess the situation, the legislators said more solutions can be accorded to deal with the disaster. 

“We thank the abrupt and immediate action from the Prime Minister who was spot-on by intervening very fast. Though she left some emergency (supplies) on ground, we believe that more can be done to improve the situation. We believe that long-term (solutions can also be accorded) to avoid these kind of scenarios,” Mr Isaac Modoi (Lutseshe County) said. 

Mr Modoi, who blamed the disaster on the effect of the poor management, said people who are settled on Mountain Elgon should be given alternatives on where to live (afterwards) because these disasters have been reoccuring. 

“But move (them) where? People should be compensated so that they find livelihood elsewhere,” he said. 

Mr Musila added that the government could also establish evacuation camps in disaster-prone areas.

 “In Bugisu, we know that usually when there is such a disaster, the affected families are taken to host families which is a big burden, something we have been doing for the last 15 years. We should have learnt to have established evacuation camps in every district prone to such disasters,” the Bubulo East County lawmaker said. 

A ministry specifically designated to attending to affairs from Bugisu, Mr Musila added, should be created to effectively deal with such situations. 

Mr Karim Masaba (Industrial Division, Mbale City) said if the government does not add help, the situation could get worse since many roads are impassable and there are limited sources of safe drinking water which are also under threat by sewage from destroyed pit-latrines.