Government Warns Public Against Living In Prone Areas

there geneva; font-size: small;”>This warning follows the flood disaster that occurred in Kasese District on May 2, price destroying lives, infrastructure, the road network among others.

As he addressed the press at Media Centre in Kampala on Monday on the Kasese floods current situation, the State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Hon. Musa Ecweru urged people to always be cautious of where they live especially those in mountainous areas.

“As we respond to Kasese situation, let’s be mindful of the fact that other parts of the country that are mountainous especially the Elgon region are equally threatened. I call upon all those communities that are living in such prone areas to quickly get out of those places,” he said.

He added: “There are communities we had brought down of the mountain in districts like Bududa. They should stay where they were relocated and for those that may have decided to go back, they are advised to come down for their own safety.”

The Minister gave a full report on the Kasese emergency delivered and action taken by Government and partners to avoid such another incident.

On 2nd May 2013, I gave the nation a preliminary report on the flood disaster that had occurred in Kasese District, destroying lives, infrastructure, the road network among others.

The situation has kept unfolding and I am here again to give the nation an update of what is happening in Kasese,” he noted.

“The destruction caused two rivers Nyamwamba and Bulemba burst their banks, leading to flash floods in various parts of the District. As a result, river Nyamwamba changed its normal direction of flow due to a blockage along its way, devastating communities along the river banks and the general community in the surroundings,” added Ecweru.

He remarked that Kilembe Mines, Kilembe Health Center and Bulemba Primary School were the most affected, because they are located at the epicenter of the floods or at the point where the river veered from its normal flow.

Similar destruction took place in the rural areas especially those within the vicinity of the river. Up to today many gardens and households remain submerged. The sub-counties mainly affected include; Bulemba, Nyamwamba, Byarumba, Kyondo, Karusandra, Maliba, Bugoye, Kilembe, Kyarumba and Bwesumbu.

Ecweru further noted several losses that were caused by these floods. “Six people (one child and five adults) have been confirmed dead. However, the six bodies have been retrieved and buried. Kilembe Mines Health Center was completely submerged and destroyed including 50 staff houses, offices, wards, equipment, drugs and other infrastructure,” he noted.

Meanwhile the hospital is closed and patients were evacuated to St. Paul and Kasese Municipal Health Centers with more than 3000 people left displaced.

He added: “Electricity supply was affected in Kilembe which has led to a black out in this area. The pipe water supply to Kasese Municipality is greatly affected because the pumping station at Kilembe mines was destroyed and Latrines have been submerged thus left over flowing, leading to water contamination.”

However, Government in collaboration with several partners has taken action to support these communities with food and non-food relief. When the incident occurred, the Minister of state for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees immediately went to Kasese to give political direction, in liaison with the district leadership.

“The DDMC of Kasese was reorganized and they undertook a rapid needs assessment, upon which we have been basing our response. Various coordination and emergency response meetings have taken place at the national level under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary and in Kasese,” noted Ecweru.

He added: “Office of the Prime Minister has sent in food and 200 household kits comprising of 800 mosquito nets, 800 blankets, 400 jerricans, 400 basins and 1200 tarpaulin. Uganda Red Cross brought in 400 pieces of blankets, 200 jerricans, 200 tarpaulin, 20packets of water purifying tablets, 600 bars of soap, 1000 plastic cups,1000 plastic plates 400 saucepans and 400 basins, enough for 200 households as well.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has delivered 50 tents of different sizes, 300 jerricans, mosquito nets, blankets and 3 medical kits, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gave donated 120 blankets.

Also people are being evacuated from the mountains where landslides are threatening to strike.

The Minister further revealed to the journalists that a transit center has been opened at Kasese Primary School and screening and registration of the victims is ongoing. “The open ground in Nyakasanga has not been used for a camp because it is water logged. However, Ministry of Health and WHO are on ground and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health visited the site. An assessment was done and they have established a treatment Centre at Kasese Health Centre 3.”

UNICEF has also undertaken an assessment and this is guiding further support from them.

Ministry of Works and Transport has been contacted and they are already fixing and reinforcing the washed away and compromised bridges and roads.


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