BY ISAAC MUGERA –

Local leaders in the Districts of Bundibugyo and Ntoroko in Western Uganda have asked for more relief support from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), towards communities that were devastated by the effects of flooding and landslides in the region.

Speaking to a team of OPM Officers from the Communications Unit and the Department of Disaster Management, who visited the area this week, the leaders expressed the dire situation of their people and the need for urgent attention.

Mr. Anslem Kyaligonza speaking to OPM Officials and journalists in Rwangara Sub County, along the shores of Lake Albert.

The Districts of Bundibugyo and Ntoroko have been prone to river and lake flooding in the last six months following heavy rains that were experienced in different parts of the country.

According to Mr. Francis Ssenyondo, the Bundibugyo Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), River Lamia in Busunga Town Council, Bundibugyo District, flooded in December 2019, destroying lives and property, as well as displacing hundreds of people.

The Ntoroko District Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Anslem Kyaligonza, said that the in April 2020, Lake Albert flooded and waters covered over 10 villages in Rwangara Sub County, displacing over 8000 people.

Houses covered by waters in Ntoroko District after the flooding of Lake Albert in April 2020.

He said that these people are now camped around Rwangara Primary School and Rwangara Health Centre 3, living in very horrible conditions.

Mr. Kyaligonza said that the toilets facilities for both the school and the health center are almost filled up, and the drugs in the health center are also finished. He expressed fear that in case of any disease outbreak like cholera, people might lose lives in large numbers if government does not respond urgently to settle these people in proper living conditions.

The leaders said that the people still appreciate the relief support already provided by OPM in form of food, blankets, tumplines, jerry cans, etc. but said that all these are now finished and people still need more support.

Ms. Rose Nakabugo, the Ag. Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Management at OPM, said that the office has received these reports from the local leaders and is already working on providing more support to these communities. She said that most of the food in the stores was distributed as COVID-19 relief, and the process for replenishment is underway.