6 dead, 5 000 displaced as heavy rains continue to flood Uganda

6 dead, 5 000 displaced as heavy rains continue to flood Uganda

At least six people died and 5 000 were displaced as intense rains continue to flood parts of Uganda, local authorities confirmed on Sunday, May 3, 2020.

In the western region, severe flooding affected parts of the Isingiro District from May 1, including the sub-counties of Kabuyanda, Mwizi, and Birere.

"Heavy rainfall that lasted for several hours led to flooding that destroyed many homes and caused deaths of some of our people," said local official Justus Byensi.

"The deceased have been buried in a scientific manner due to fears over COVID-19. They included two students; the others were adults."

He added that three other men who were cutting timber when the flooding struck went missing.

Alex Byarugaba Bakunda, a member of the parliament for Isingiro, said about 5 000 people have been displaced. He has then appealed for emergency support from the government.

Bakunda urged all people residing in valleys and vulnerable areas to be more careful in the event of torrential rains.

Major flooding and landslides also hit the district of Rubanda in the Kigezi sub-region, after more than 10 hours of heavy rain on May 2, resulting in two fatalities, 31 destroyed houses, and four roads damaged.

Kigezi police spokesperson Elly Maate identified the victims as nine-year-old and four-year-old sisters, who were swept away by running water in the Karengyere village, Muko sub-county. The two were braving the heavy rains to return home, he said. The bodies were retrieved from the landslide area.

In the eastern region, heavy rains over the past weeks caused Lake Victoria's water levels to increase. With this, more than 3 800 residents in the district of Mayuge were urged to evacuate.

"This problem is across the whole country. Now there are thousands of people who are displaced. The officers in my office are compiling the figures (numbers of people) and the extent of the damage for each district across Uganda," said Musa Ecweru, the minister of state for relief and disaster preparedness.

"We are going to sit down and see how to handle the magnitude of the problem. We shall see how to dispatch some support to the affected persons."

The Office of the Prime Minister has been alerting people of more possible flooding and landslides, as well as strong winds and lightning as the first rain season peaks.

"We have been running alert messages on televisions and radios. These alerts started running about five months ago. We have been telling and warning the country of heavy rains and its dangerous effects," Ecweru stated.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority warned of enhanced rainfall over parts of the country in its March-May seasonal rainfall outlook.

Featured image credit: Joshua Mitala/YouTube

Comments

matata 7 months ago

The Escrow need to release more water not just 1 centimetre a day that's not enough. They waiter for it to get 4'' to max danger point at the dam. where were they all this time? they waited for things to get so bad for them to open the gates.

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