By Denis Turyahebwa
Mudslide victims in Bukalasi Sub-county in Bududa District, who had temporarily been relocated to a camp at Bukalasi Secondary School playground, have started returning to their respective homes, due to lack of shelter and food.
Ms Judith Wamataba, one of the victims and resident of Suume Village, said they are living a miserable life at the camp.
“At night, apart from sleeping in the cold due to lack of blankets, we are bundled together with children,” she explained.
Ms Lydia Buteme, 56, a resident of Nalutungu Village, accused government officials of hoodwinking them that they had brought enough tents to accommodate them as they wait for relocation, but it was not the case.
“We have only four tents on the ground out of the many tents they said they had brought. Many of us have nowhere to sleep at night,” she said.
Most of the displaced people had reportedly gone back to their homes, which had been declared risky, while others were reportedly staying with their relatives in the neighborhood.
Other victims also expressed worry over lack of privacy, toilets and other necessities ever since they were brought to the camp more than two weeks ago following the devastating mudslide that left more than 53 people dead when River Suume burst its banks on October 11th.
Similarly, Mr. Tamuseo Wanzala, 53, a resident of Malandu Village, described the situation at the camp as inhuman. He said it is difficult to get food at the camp.
“Getting food is by luck. Life is hard and I am also contemplating going back to my relative’s home. If they [government] want, they will help us from there,” he said.
Mr Wanzala said the officials who distribute food, demand for their national identity cards, which he said most of them lost when their houses were washed away.
“We have heard NGOs and other well-wishers have donated relief items but we are not getting any yet we are the beneficiaries,” Ms. Dison Weboya, another victim, said.
The district chairperson, Mr. Wilson Watira, explained that they received 150 bags of maize flour and 100 of beans from the Office of the Prime Minister which he said was not enough to cater for the more than 800 displaced people.
“We were able to give relief to only 140 families out of the 800 that were affected and we were giving 10kg per family instead of 25kg,” he said
Meanwhile, the commissioner for disaster preparedness and management in the Office of the Prime Minister Mr. Martin Owor explained that they have communicated to the Bududa District leadership about the delivery of more relief items, including food and shelter materials.
“We are continuing to deliver relief and trailers are loading the items but we are also looking at a bigger picture of relocating and resettling the victims,” Mr. Owor said.