Butaleja floods victims
Butaleja floods victims cries out to government over delayed relief aid. Photo/Monitor

Butaleja floods victims cry out to government over delayed relief aid

Butaleja District in Eastern Uganda has been severely affected by floods. However, victims of these heavy rain downpour now blame the government for the suffering they are undergoing, following delayed relief aid.

Local authorities in the district said that following the heavy rains that caused flooding in some parts of Butaleja, hundreds of residents have been displaced and their gardens washed away.

And most of the affected residents now take shelter in schools and churches around areas of Himutu, Mazimasa and Kachonga sub-counties.

According to Butaleja floods victims, since Friday, after the disaster, the government has not yet, responded in any way.

While some victims took refuge at their relatives’ houses and others are still wondering where to find shelter, food and clothes, at this trying times.

The floods in these areas were triggered by River Manafwa when it’s banks busted and eventually covered up the area.

One of the victims, Helen Namuhaini, a resident of Doho village said that her house including household items like beddings, clothes, domestic animals and birds were submerged in water, and the items washed away by the flood. Namuhaini says she lost almost everything she owned.

“The floods, triggered by heavy rains that have been pounding Mt. Elgon Sub-region for the last two weeks, also destroyed our gardens and livestock,” Namuhaini said.

Commenting on the tragedy, LCI chairperson, Muhuyu village, Mazimasa Sub-County said right now they feel helpless and asked government to come out for their rescue.

“We are suffering a lot in floods without any help. We appeal to the government to come to our rescue,” Maliki said.

While Namulo village LCI chairperson, Wilson Mugoole wondered why the government have taken long to come for their rescue, yet, they had issued an alarm to them for help.

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He adds that they are now mindful that cholera outbreak might strike the area, because of poor hygiene right now.

“We fear that Cholera might break out in our areas because most of the toilets were washed away by floods and now people are defecating in the same water,” Mugoole said.

Nonetheless, Jackeline Nakoma, the Butaleja District Information Officer says the District Disaster Committee is still in the process of assessing the affected people and the damages caused, to a certain the situation.

“After the assessment, we shall take the report to the office of the Prime Minister (OPM). I know they will be helped,” Nakoma said.

Also, Alex Majere, the Butaleja CAO said that the district disaster committee will have a meeting, write a report indicating the extent of the disaster and then ask the government for assistance.

Meanwhile, Nagwomu Musamba, the Bunyole East legislator said that floods have greatly affected the district. However, he promised to assess the situation to see how the victims of these floods, can be assisted.

“Even Lelesi Bridge has been washed away by the floods. I have started assessing the situation to see how the affected people will be helped. I will write a report to OPM,” Musamba said.

Relatedly, Jimmy Segawa, the Residence District Commissioner (RDC) said he has already filed a report to the OPM. And on Monday 21, October 2019, they will conduct an assessment on the affected individuals, to verify how many people need assistance.

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But, on Saturday 19, October 2019, Disaster Preparedness Commissioner in the Office of the Prime Minister, Martin Owor said that government had earlier on warned the people of the affected area because this is not the first time, the disaster is happening in the area.

“Yes there are floods, and some houses have collapsed, but we mapped all these areas and alerted everybody,” Owor said.

He, however, said the affected people will be receiving relief aid on Monday 21, October 2019.

Irene Nakasiita, Uganda Red Cross Society spokesperson said that a research activity conducted by the humanitarian movement indicates that many houses have been submerged in water and many roads have been cut off, and Lelesi Bridge washed away as well.

She says in Butaleja alone; 650 households were affected with nowhere to live at a moment.