BY JOYCE BABIRYE –
The Office of the Prime Minister started the process of relocating 136 households from the disaster prone districts of Bududa, Manafwa, Sironko, Bulambuli, and Namisindwa from 6th to 21st,February, 2020. The people were allocated to Bunabutye settlement, in Bulambuli district.
Phase 2 of the construction of 140 houses of 2 bedrooms each, a sitting room and a kitchen was completed in 2019. Each house is sitting on one acre of land and each family will be allocated 2 extra acres for farming by government.
According to Ms. Rose Nakabungo the Assistant Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, four houses were reserved for the provision of services such as a health centre and for the school administration. The average family consists of 5 people . Each household is given food, a lamp, paraffin and a few utensils like buckets on arrival. Government will continue providing them with food for a period of 1 year and some money.
The new settlement has electricity, tap water, health centre and a school where children are given free education and free uniforms.
According to the head teacher of Bunabutye primary school, Mr. Michael Kitutu, the school started in June 2019, OPM provided them with furniture and instructional materials. Currently the school has 1,050 primary students and 91 nursery students although registration was still on going. Counselling and guidance for the students is on going to enable them settle in the new environment.
Mr. Martin Wadeya said he was grateful to OPM and government in general for giving him a new home for his family.
The resettlement process is voluntary, people are educated about the dangers of living on the high mountain slopes and of destroying the environment. Those that are ready for relocation are required to destroy their houses and sign a contract with government to hand over the land . Government intends to plant trees on the elgon mountain slopes to stop the mudslides and soil version that has been silting rivers like manafwa, causing floods down stream.