By Spy Uganda
Kasese: In Uganda’s southwestern district of Kasese, floods rip through valleys, creating paths of destruction almost every year, leaving communities displaced and in dire need of food, shelter, and safety.
READ ALSO: Kasese Landslides Bury Three Children Alive
In May 2020, for example, River Nyamwamba burst its banks leading to floods that caused havoc in Kanyangeya village. Over 10000 people were affected by the floods that struck on May 05, 2020.
As if this was not enough, the same district experienced torrential rains in subsequent days, causing further flooding that left at least eight people dead.
A year later, up to 1670 people displaced by these floods are still being hosted in a camp at Mohokya, where the government of Uganda resettled them.
The secretary-general for Mohokya camp., says the condition in which these environmental and climate refugees live is appalling.
“There is only a single water point (tap) providing water for over 4000 people. This causes conflicts among locals and the displaced camp,” he insists.
Insigoma Joseph, the Kasese district planner, assures residents of a resettlement plan by the government. He says apparently, the Mohokya displacement camp acts only as a transit point from where the government plans to resettle all those affected by the floods.
Kule Mande, the head of the camp, decries the poor conditions in which these displaced persons live.
He, in particular, laments the lack of a health facility.
And also, residents continue to express worry over their children’s education after some of the schools in this community were destroyed by the floods.
Previously, it was reported that more than 10,000 people who were displaced by the floods face starvation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to local media months back, Mr Joshua Kisembo Masereka, the Kasese Deputy Resident District Commissioner, said the state of people living in camps scattered across various sub-counties is appalling.
“Those living in camps are traumatised and are faced with emotional and mental stress emanating from the losses they registered at an individual level,” he said.
Mr Peter Mutooro, the camp chairperson, said they have failed to enforce the directives against Covid-19 because they are facing hunger.
“Because of Covid-19, we have started decongesting families to the nearby churches and schools so that they reduce on the numbers,” said Mr Mutooro.
Ms Harriet Kabugho, who chairs the committee overseeing affairs for girls within the camp, said their rights as girls were being violated every day. She explained that five of her friends have been sexually harassed by the boys within the same camp.
“We do not have bathrooms, we use the same latrines and we might contract sexually transmitted diseases,” Ms Kabugho said.
The coordinator for Centre for Gender Quality, a non-governmental organisation based in Kasese town, Ms Jolly Mbambu, advised that people who are living in camps need to be resettled.
“This will not be the first time government is resettling flood victims. It was properly done during the Bududa landslides saga,” Ms Mbambu said.