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Kasese flood victims blame gov’t for slow response

By Wilson Asiimwe

Added 14th April 2016 12:15 PM

Over 1000 residents of Kanamba and Kabaka parishes in Karusandara sub -county were on Tuesday left homeless after River Mubuku flooded and busted its banks washing away all their gardens and destroying several crops and property worth millions.

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People crossing Mubuku River which flooded and left several people displaced. Photos/Wilson Asiimwe

Over 1000 residents of Kanamba and Kabaka parishes in Karusandara sub -county were on Tuesday left homeless after River Mubuku flooded and busted its banks washing away all their gardens and destroying several crops and property worth millions.



Residents of Karusandara sub -county in Kasese district have blamed Kasese district leadership for failing to help flood victims.

Over 1000 residents of Kanamba and Kabaka parishes in Karusandara sub -county were on Tuesday left homeless after River Mubuku flooded and busted its banks washing away all their gardens and destroying several crops and property worth millions.

Locals with the help of Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) rangers temporarily set up a camp but they have never got any relief from responsible government departments.

Ezra Turyahabwe, the area LC3 chairperson, says he is under pressure to explain to the residents why government is taking long to respond to their plight.

“People are suffering, we fear that cholera might breakout in the area if the sanitation is not improved because all the latrines were washed away and people are now defecating in the open,” says Turyahabwe.

The reoccurring floods recently ravaged the area and killed one person who attempted to cross the river from a drinking spree at night, locals tried to search for his body but it was never found.

 


Ezra said that the most affected people are from the parishes of Kanamba and Kabaka, where 310 families have been displaced and gardens of cassava, cotton, potatoes and maize are submerged in water.

He says the report was submitted to the office of Assistant Chief Administrative Officer who chairs the district disaster management committee but up to date, they have not received feedback.

Ezra says most of the affected people are staying with their relatives.

Turyanazabyoya Eric, one of the victims in Karusandara sub-county, says the river has destroyed his two acres of cassava that he had invested in a lot of money  knowing that it would fetch income for his family.

“All my hope is gone, my goats drowned in water, all my crops have been submerged in water and my appeal to the government is that they should come and assess the situation and help us with relief items,” says Turyanazabyoya.

In 2013 and 2014 Karusandara was the most hit area when Kasese district was hit by massive floods however, residents says that nothing has been replaced.

Recently the Japanese government and Kasese district entered a partnership to establish a disaster risk management systems in the Sub County.

Junzo Fujita, the Japanese ambassador to Uganda said that through Save the Children Japan, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign affairs will provide funds to coordinate disaster management activities and also train local people and school children in Karusandara in evacuating victims of floods.

“We cannot predict when the natural disasters will occur, but when they occur we should be ready to carry out evacuations and save lives,” said Fujita.

He said that the project which is being implemented by its development partner Save the Children Uganda, is focusing at strengthening the capacity of villages and educational institutions to respond to the risks of disaster caused by natural hazards.

A modern radio station was also installed in Karusandara sub -county to serve as an early warning system to the people in case of disasters through the partnership.

Okecho Emmanuel, the disaster preparedness officer in the Office of the Prime Minister said that while Uganda continues to face increasing cases of disasters like floods and landslides in different parts of the country, there is little being done in terms of early warning systems and disaster risk reduction.

Okecho said that the OPM is charged with coordination of Disaster Response and Early warning system at the national level, but most districts have not mainstreamed Disaster Risk Reduction. He added that they are accordingly always caught off guard whenever disasters occur.

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