Take precaution as rain wreaks havoc

Saturday October 02 2021
reg002pix

Residents use a canoe to cross a flooded section of a road in Amolatar District in July 2021. Several sub-counties in the district have been affected by floods due to the rising water levels in Lake Kyoga. PHOTO/ BILL OKETCH.

By EDITOR

The weatherman at the beginning of September warned about heavy rain during the second season that lasts from September to December.

In the seasonal rainfall outlook, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) warned of heavy downpour and thunderstorms, and this explains what we are currently witnessing.

Videos of running water carrying away motorcycles in Kampala’s flood-prone areas made rounds on several social media groups. 

Leaders from Bugisu Sub-region appealed to government for help after a landslide occurred in Bukirindya Parish, Bukise Sub-county, leaving a number of animals dead and crops destroyed. Residents are now living in fear after fresh cracks were cited in several sub-counties that are prone to landslides.

Also, there have been reports in recent weeks of people getting killed by lightning. A family of five was struck dead in Omoro District while they slept in their grass-thatched house at the beginning of last month. 

Only last week, three people were killed as lightning struck two villages in Rubanda District. Another two were struck dead by lightning in Kinaba sub-county, Kanungu District.

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Mr David Elweru, the acting executive director of UNMA, says most parts of the country will experience near normal to below normal rain during this season. There is high expectation for poor rainfall distribution over most parts of the country during. 

However, he warns, the rainfall performance is expected to be enhanced from September to mid-October. Meaning, we are still going to witness menacing rain for the next few weeks. This calls for caution by all members of the public.

Those in decision-making positions should be on high alert, ready to respond in case a disaster happens. We have not been doing well in this department. It normally takes government days to weeks to respond emergencies.

But responsibility should not only rest on government. Individuals and communities should also play their part. You do not need to wait for a disaster to happen before you move to safety. People from landslide-prone areas in Bugisu who have moved to safety for this period should be commended.

For those that can afford, it is highly advisable that you install lightning rods, especially people staying in raised buildings. Always find a safe enclosed shelter when it is raining. Do not stand on elevated surfaces such as hills during downpours.
Finally, motorists should try as much as possible to avoid driving during heavy rain. If you have to, make sure you use routes you are familiar with, have functioning wipers, have recommended tyres and drive at reasonable speed.

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