Widespread flooding and landslides continue battering Uganda

Widespread flooding and landslides continue battering Uganda

Heavy downpour continues affecting Uganda since Saturday, December 6, 2019, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing over 1 000 people to evacuate. The severe weather has led to widespread flooding and landslides, destroying nearly 20 bridges on several roads. Authorities said they have retrieved 17 bodies of flood victims by Wednesday, December 11.

After a week of torrential rain, several rivers burst their banks, namely Manafwa, Solokho, Tsutu, Namatala, and Nabuyonga. Some of the affected bridges include Buwagogo which connects Manafwa to Lwakhakha boarder. 

The Kufu Bridge, which connects Bupoto to Magale in Namisindwa District, was also swept away. Some traders said they were left stranded with their merchandise that has perishable goods.

According to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), the Kiguli Bridge in Sironko district was also destroyed. The Bubulo-Bududa road was hit, but it is still passable. The Naboa-Nabindana road, on the other hand, was left in bad condition.

"We are to construct a temporary bridge and install culverts. Passengers must use other available routes. Our maintenance team is monitoring these sections and will intervene as soon as the water levels subside,” said UNRA spokesperson Mark Ssali.

Jude Wamono, a businessman in Manafwa Town, asked the government to help restore the broken bridges.

"Most of the bridges have been washed away by floods and we are now stuck. We request UNRA to intervene."

About 250 homesteads in the eight parishes of Kagulu Sub County in Buyende District have been eroded by floods, leaving various residents homeless and helpless.

The area district councilor, Mr. Stephen Bagalana, reported that following the heavy rains, water pops up in the houses like a 'small well' and within a short time, weakens the walls and the house is razed down.

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Image credit: Uganda Red Cross Society

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Image credit: Uganda Red Cross Society

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Image credit: Uganda Red Cross Society

Meanwhile, the evacuees have reportedly registered at two reception centers that the government had set up in the Bundibugyo district. They were accommodated at Semuliki High Secondary School in Harugale Sub County and at Bubukwanga Transit camp in Bubukwanga Sub County.

"At Semuliki Secondary School, so far 1 114 people have registered while nine victims have registered at Bubukwanga," said Irene Nakasiita, the head of Communication and Public relations at Uganda Red Cross Society.

The organization added that search efforts are still underway to trace missing people.

"The rains are still ongoing but lucky enough UNRA is on the ground opening up drainage channels and culverts to enable water flow normally," said Bundibugyo District Police Commander Taban Swaib.

"Red Cross Volunteers are conducting a thorough house to house assessment to establish the needs of the people. The situation is a little calm but the affected families are in dire need of food, water, hygiene facilities, medicine, and other necessities," said Nakasiita.

Featured image credit: Uganda Red Cross Society

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