The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hillary Onek has on Thursday said that over one million Ugandans have been directly affected by the current torrential rains which have caused havoc in the country since April.
“Roughly, 300,000 people have been displaced by lakes and rivers that have overflown into their land and homes. They are currently sleeping in churches, schools and other public places. Over 1 million people have been affected directly by the current condition,” Onek told reporters at Uganda Media Centre on Thursday.
The Minister said water levels have increased in all rivers and lakes in the country leading to flooding and displacement of communities.
“In the mountainous areas of Elgon, the situation is appalling. Heavy rains displaced people in Busaano sub county, Mbale district, the population now is close to 567 from 81 families. This follows the landslide that killed one and destroyed property and houses,” said Onek.
Micheal Mukhaali, aged 45 died after his house was completely destroyed and covered under the mud by the heavy downpour that rained throughout Sunday night in Mbale.
About seven villages in Mbale district were affected by the rains and most landscapes developed cracks especially in Buwangwa upper village, Buwangwa Lower village, Buwangwa central village, Kiteka village, Nabikyenga village and Bufoto village.
The situation, Onek said, continues to be tense in the entire Elgon sub region adding that communities at high risk have been advised to relocate and stay with relatives and friends.
He added that Government is closely working with the Mbale district disaster management committee to manage and provide the families with initial coping mechanisms.
Buwangwa primary school apparently serves as shelter for the displaced and classrooms are to be used to enforce social distancing as one of the safety precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Other sub regions that have been that have been greatly affected include Rwenzori, Bunyoro, Lango, Teso and 122 islands.
In Kasese and Bundibugyo, lives have been lost and several communities displaced due to floods. Losses suffered by individuals range from shelter, household items, crops, animals, businesses among others.
2 people are feared to have died, properties and crops destroyed in Ndite sub-county, Bundibugyo district following a mudslide on Wednesday night.
Furthermore, hundreds of residents in the sub counties of Mizamasa and Himitu in Butaleja district were displaced by floods following a heavy downpour.
“In general, we have lost public infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools, health facilities, water sources, sanitation facilities, power plants etc,” Onek said.
The rains are still continuing according to the current weather forecast issued by Uganda National Metrological Authority (UNMA) covering the months of September to December.
The rains will be heavier in the month of September and may begin receding in October in some parts of the country, while in other parts, they will continue up to December.