22 | MAR | 2019
Landslide in eastern Uganda kills several people, begins relocations
A man crosses the Sume river carrying an empty coffin on his head after a landslide rolled down the slopes of Mt. Elgon through their village of Wanjenwa in Bududa district, Uganda - Photo: Newton Nambwaya: REUTERS

Landslide in eastern Uganda kills several people, begins relocations

16/10/2018
14:14
Reuters
Kampala
-A +A
A government statement put the final death toll at 43, up from an initial figure of 31, and said a further 21 people were injured with around 800 left homeless

Floodwaters triggered by a landslide swept debris through a town in eastern Uganda, destroying homes and burying livestock, a government official said on Friday.

The landslide, which followed heavy rains, struck Bukalasi, situated on the slopes of Mount Elgon, on Thursday afternoon.

“Most of the people were caught at the market, the landslide pushed huge boulders into a river which burst its banks and the water swept away the people,” said Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Management Martin Owor.

Relief teams were combing the area to search and rescue survivors, Owor said.

“There are people who were displaced and they need shelter, food and all other support and we’re moving that relief to the area,” he said.

A government statement put the final death toll at 43, up from an initial figure of 31, and said a further 21 people were injured with around 800 left homeless.

It said the cabinet had “directed resettlement of persons at risk of (further) landslides to begin immediately”. Around 32.7 billion shillings (USD$8.66 million) had been allocated to finance emergency relocations of the most vulnerable people.

A 2,800-acre plot had been procured for relocations, with a further 5,500 people also vulnerable to landslides to follow the initial 800. In all, some 100,000 people deemed to be living in the likely path of landslides will be resettled in coming years.

The rainy season in that part of Uganda, about 250 km (155 miles) from the capital Kampala and close to the Kenyan border, runs from September to December.

An avalanche in the same area in 2010 killed at least 80 people.

Large swaths on the slopes of Ugandan mountains have been denuded of their forests and other vegetation cover for cultivable land, increasing the risk of landslides.

Many of the East African country’s mountainous regions, also including areas in the southwest and west near the borders with Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, often experience landslides at this time of the year if rains are unusually heavy.

sg

Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal

 

Comentarios