Over 450 families face starvation as hailstorm wreaks havoc in Mitooma
What you need to know:
- The hailstorm claimed the lives of several animals including cows, goats, and pigs, and destroyed several acres of banana, coffee and cassava plantations as well as beans, maize, and Irish potato gardens.
Heavy downpour characterized by hailstorm on Sunday left residents in the four parishes of Mutara Sub County in Mitooma District counting losses after their property was destroyed. The affected parishes include; Kataho, Ryakitanga, Bikungu and Enshaka.
The hailstorm claimed the lives of several animals including cows, goats, and pigs, and destroyed several acres of banana, coffee and cassava plantations as well as beans, maize, and Irish potato gardens.
Mr Naboth Mbeyongera, a resident of Kataho village in Kataho parish, said that the hailstorm started at around 3PM and lasted for four hours.
“I have lost one cow and six goats and my neighbour has lost three cows to the hailstorm. We have now resorted to collecting the hailstones which we shall take to our leaders so that they can wake up and get us help,” he said.
The Mutara Sub County LCV councillor, Mr Bernard Mbangira said that the calamity affected about 450 households.
“I’m so worried, I have never seen such kind of hailstorm in my lifetime. We are trying to coordinate with the affected families to see how they can be helped. We call up the government and well-wishers to intervene and provide food relief and other items because they are currently stranded,” he said.
Mr Mbangira, who also lost two acres of cassava and coffee plantation, said that they have already informed the relevant offices to help the affected persons.
Mr Benon Karyeija, the Mitooma District LCV chairperson said that they have asked the local council chairpersons in the affected areas to compile lists of the hailstorm victims which shall be forwarded to the Office of the Prime Minister for help.
He explains that although they have a disaster preparedness committee in the district, it lacks funding because it was constituted after the budget approval.
"As the district, we don't have specific funds for disaster. However, we will contact our area Members of Parliament and we write to the Prime Minister's office for any assistance. We know people will be badly affected by food shortage in the near future," he said.