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Landslide fear grips Manafwa

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th June 2011 03:00 AM

THE continuous torrential rains in Bugisu sub-region have resurrected fears of more landslides on the slopes of Mountain Elgon.

THE continuous torrential rains in Bugisu sub-region have resurrected fears of more landslides on the slopes of Mountain Elgon.

By Daniel Edyegu

THE continuous torrential rains in Bugisu sub-region have resurrected fears of more landslides on the slopes of Mountain Elgon.

The fears are more apparent among communities in Manafwa district in areas where cracks have developed on the slopes.

The rains that started in late April intensified last month and triggered landslides that buried a pupil of Bunanzu primary school in Nasyefu village.

Trini Nagwere, the Nasyefu LC1 chairman, on Saturday said some people had deserted the area, opting to live with their relatives in safer areas.

“We are not certain of what may happen next. With the continuous rains, landslides could occur any time,” Nagwere said.

The rains have also uprooted trees, which have blocked roads in Bupoto sub-county.

A geological study conducted by the office of the Prime minister and the National Environment Management Authority, shows that heavy rains and poor land use on Mt. Elgon’s slopes created the cracks.

The cracks stretch about 40km through the Mukhoto, Bupoto, Bumbo and Bukhoko sub-counties up to the Lwakhakha border point.

Nagwere said despite the threat, the Government had not bothered to register the residents for relocation.

“Even when survivors were being relocated from Bulucheke camp to Kiryandongo, no one came here to register displaced families. Consequently, people who had taken refuge in schools and churches in the sub-county have settled back in the risky areas,” he said.

“Whereas the Government wants us to relocate from the cliffs, we don’t have where to go,” Nagwere added.

Moses Masaba, the Bupoto LC3 chairman, said the Prime Minister’s office recently informed local leaders that the Government plans to purchase land within Bugisu to relocate the residents.

Masaba said they were told the Bulucheke relocation was meant for residents in the 14 villages in the sub-counties of Bumayoka and Nametsi.

Stephen Womukota, the Uganda Red Cross eastern regional disaster coordinator, said more than 350 families at the slopes of Mt. Elgon were still at risk of landslides.

He noted that since the relocation of the Bududa landslide survivors, little had been done to help people in the other risk-prone areas of Manafwa, Mbale, Sironko and Kapchorwa find alternative places for settlement.

However, an official from the Prime Minister’s office said the Government had no immediate plans to relocate people in the landslide prone areas.

Landslide fear grips Manafwa

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