River Nyamwamba spills to communities again, cuts off road

This photo taken on June 28, 2020 shows a UPDF officer sealing off the road at Ngagi bridge after river Nyamwamba in Kasese District flooded into the road leaving some travellers stranded. PHOTO BY ENID NINSIIMA

What you need to know:

  • Last Thursday, four people of the same family perished in river Mubuku as they were crossing from the garden when the river flooded and swept them away.

Travellers were Sunday left stranded after River Nyamwamba in Kasese District in western Uganda burst its banks again cutting off Kilembe road.
Local leaders who talked to this reporter said they too were now confused on what to do next as efforts to restore Kilembe mines are under way.
The mayor of Kasese municipality, Mr Godfrey Kabbyanga said that river Nyamwamba has again cut off the road from Namuhuga up to Ngagi River adding that Ngagi Bridge may also be swept away following heavy rain.

There was a heavy downpour on Saturday night both in Kasese and Fort Portal areas despite most parts of the Rwenzori sub region experiencing hot days recently.
“It is true, river Nyamwamba has flooded again, cutting off the Kilembe road from Namuhuga junction up to Ngagi Bridge. Water is now flowing on the road. Previously, the river was diverted to protect the cobalt tailings and now it has submerged the road,” Mr Kabbyanga said on phone adding that it has defeated their efforts as leaders.

The mayor further revealed that flooding now was unpredictable since it is a dry season but the rivers have continued to burst their banks.
“We have told people to get off the river banks since it is no longer predictable when it will flood. The river valley is now damaged for a distance of 30 kms. The destruction is beyond management by the local leadership,” Mr Kabbyanga added.
However, when contacted, Mr Augustine Kooli, the Kasese District Environmental Officer technically reasoned that river Nyamwamba had not flooded again but whenever it rains, the water now moves on the surface of the land because the rivers have not been de-silted since the last floods in May.

“There is nothing like flooding here again but the challenge is that one down pour makes the river spill downstream where there is more silt. Government said in May that the excavator to de-silt the rivers will be coming but nothing is on the ground so what do we do!” Mr Kooli wondered.
Mr Onesmus Kibaya, the Kilembe hospital administrator said hospital staff who stay in Kilembe were stuck in their houses on Sunday as they could not travel to town for work.

The hospital was relocated to town temporarily in May due to floods.
“As I speak now, we are stuck here at Little angels nursery school, the road is cut off and we cannot cross the road to Kasese,” Mr Kibaya said on Sunday.
Ms Hadija Natukunda, a resident of Kanyangeya village who has been staying in the camp at Kanyangeya primary school since May 10 but was told to leave the camp last week said that water had started entering their houses again leaving them with no option.

“Water has started entering into our houses again and we don’t know where to go now since we were told to leave the camps,” Ms Natukunda said.
Last Thursday, four people of the same family perished in river Mubuku as they were crossing from the garden when the river flooded and swept them away. Three bodies were recovered but that of a 7-year-old child is still missing.