Three killed, dozens missing in Uganda landslides

Wednesday June 5 2019


Survivors wade through the mud in the aftermath of a landslide in eastern Uganda. PHOTO | DAILY MONITOR 

By Daily Monitor

At least three people were killed and dozens went missing Tuesday night following heavy rain and landslides in several villages in Bududa District, eastern Uganda.

Rain pounded the area for about four hours before the landslide began at about 11:30pm (0830GMT).

An eight-year-old girl was buried alive following a landslide in Shisakali, while two people reportedly died after their houses were swept away by gushing water in Suume village when River Suume burst its banks.

Ms Esther Nashuwu, the girl’s mother, said: “I heard noise from the hill and I ran out of the house to find out what was happening. Within seconds, the rolling mud had covered the house and I could not save my daughter.”

Mr Samson Wambete, a resident of Bukobero and a local leader, said they could not establish the exact number of people killed or missing, nor the number of houses destroyed.

“We are in shock and helpless because apart from the lives lost, several houses, animals and crops have been washed away,” he said.

Bududa district communications officer Patrick Nabutayi Kibeti said many people are feared dead and dozens of others displaced.

Bududa is in the foothills of Mount Elgon, which lies on the border between Uganda and Kenya, and is a high risk area for landslides.

The government recently started relocating landslide victims in the district to neighbouring Bulambuli.

More than 90 families who survived the October 2018 landslides have been relocated. But out of the 900 houses that were to be built for them, only 101 have been built.

Mr Julius Mucunguzi, a communications adviser in the Office of the Prime Minister, said via social media that a team from the Disaster Preparedness and Management Department has been sent to the area.

—Additional reporting by AFP