By Hanning Mbabazi
Bududa: The Disaster Preparedness and Management Department in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has Wednesday morning confirmed that Bududa wass hit by fresh landslides and requested natives to quit the disaster-prone area.
In a press statement, the Head of Communications at the OPM’s office Julius Mucunguzi has said that property and lives have been lost and confirmed that team is on ground doing search work for victims. “There are reports of displacement and destruction of property as well as missing persons. Search and rescue teams are on the ground and we pray that the missing are found alive,” reads in part the statement by Mucunguzi. He and other members from the OPM are said to have been sent to Bududa to work with local authorities and other agencies to establish the facts to inform the next course of immediate action.
“In the meantime, people living on risky and dangerous slopes of Mountain Elgon continue to be advised to move away and seek shelter with friends and relatives in lower and safer grounds as the rains come.” The Office of the Prime Minister adds that the resettling process of the first batch of survivors for the October 11, 2018 landslides in same area and other places in Bugisu sub region to Bulambuli is still ongoing. “In the first phase, 101 houses have been built in Bulambuli out of a planned 900 houses. In total, over 100,000 people living precariously on the slopes of Mount Elgon are estimated to be at great danger and requiring relocation.” The office of the prime minister two weeks ago started resettling the first batch of the survivors of the October 11, 2018 landslides in same area to Bulambuli. The second phase of the construction of 140 houses is also underway.
In 2018, about 12,000 people were affected by flooding and landslides in Bukalasi and Buwali sub-counties in Bududa district since 11 October. The Bududa landslide disaster followed three days of consistent and heavy rainfall in the areas around Mount Elgon National Park in Bukalasi. The Uganda Red Cross spokesperson, Irene Nakasiita insists they are still assessing the situation in Bududa. “We are still conducting an assessment and then we will get back to you with final figures,” Nakasiita told this website. The latest mudslides are said to have affected a number of homes destroying livestock and crops. Following a heavy downpour on October 11, mudslides hit Bukalasi Sub-County in Bududa District sweeping away an entire village, killing people and leaving several others homeless. At least 20 people were then confirmed dead following the mudslides that swept village. Ten more villages were reported at risk of landslides and Acres of crops in Bududa District are at risk of being swept away by landslides.