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Storms devastate Kayunga, Tororo, Ibanda

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th March 2011 03:00 AM

HEAVY rains have for the last three weeks wrecked havoc in various parts of the country. The rains have destroyed houses, caused body injuries, destroyed crop fields and livestock, heightening fears of food shortage.

HEAVY rains have for the last three weeks wrecked havoc in various parts of the country. The rains have destroyed houses, caused body injuries, destroyed crop fields and livestock, heightening fears of food shortage.

By RAYMOND BAGUMA
AND TADDEO BWAMBALE


HEAVY rains have for the last three weeks wrecked havoc in various parts of the country. The rains have destroyed houses, caused body injuries, destroyed crop fields and livestock, heightening fears of food shortage.

Disaster preparedness minister Tarsis Kabwegyere was one of the victims after a hailstorm reportedly destroyed his banana plantation in Mbarara district.

The Government, Kabwegyere said, is providing assorted relief items to the affected homes.

Michael Nkalubo, the commissioner for meteorology in the water and environment ministry, said the rains are expected to last till May.

“March, April and May will experience the normal long rains. However, due to La Nina weather conditions, the rains may be suppressed, especially in the northern parts of the country,” he said.

La Nina is used to describe the periodic building up of unusually cold waters in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean.

The condition causes the dry period to be hotter and longer, Nkalubo explained. It also makes rains to get suppressed and withdraw completely.

The southern part of the country will receive near-normal to above-normal rains, Nkalubo added.

Areas along the cattle corridor, including Karamoja, will experience near normal to below-normal rains characterised by moisture stress, he said.

Kayunga
Six people sustained injuries when a hailstorm razed down their house on Sunday.

“The storm blew off the roof and the walls fell on me,” Florence Namirimu narrated, while on her bed in Kayunga Hospital

Also, over 300 residents were left homeless after a hailstorm brought down their houses and ravaged crops in different parts of the district.

In a brief interview, Lugard Ssalabwa, the Kayunga LC3 chairperson observed.

Tororo
A hailstorm destroyed over 1,000 acres of food crops on Friday.

Patrick Okware, the Tororo district agricultural officer, said the storm destroyed about 75% of mature food crops such as cassava, sorghum and millet. “Eleven out of 21 sub-counties in the district were affected,” said Okware.

Ibanda
A recent hailstorm in Ibanda district hit Bwahwa and Nyamirima parishes in Nyabuhikye sub-county, affecting over 60 families.

The storm devasted homesteads, killing livestock and destroying banana plantations.

Mukono
Over 20 families were on Friday evening left homeless following a heavy downpour characterised by strong winds.

The rains destroyed several banana, cassava and potato gardens in Nama, Kimenyedde, Kyampisi and Nabbaale sub-counties.

John Munyankindi, 55, of Kituba village and his family, remained homeless after the hailstorm destroyed their house.

Janet Ssebide, another victim, shed tears when the winds destroyed her banana plantation.

At Mpoma village on the Mukono-Kayunga road, Sarah Kisitu, a widow with six children, said her banana, cassava and fruit plantations were destroyed, leaving her with nothing to feed the children.

Kabale
Kabale is coming to terms with torrential rains that have now lasted a week.

Kabale municipality residents and people from other areas said the rains destroyed gardens and eroded soils.

Mercy Kyomuhendo, a resident of Rushaki ward, said flood water was running down the hills with the potential to sweep away houses and gardens.

Kyomuhendo said there was no effort to dig storm channels by residents to contain the running water.

James Kabatereine, the chairman of Hamurwa sub-county, said the rains washed away gardens, killed livestock and destroyed access roads before, but they have little funds to sensitise people.

Iganga
Mild hailstorms over the last two nights have left several signposts damaged.

The huge BIDCO billboard at the entrance of the town was torn to shreds.

Soroti
Over 150 families in Soroti municipality were rendered homeless on Sunday afternoon after a heavy storm ravaged their houses.

Some people sustained injuries and property worth millions of shillings was damaged. Students at St-Pius Vocational Institute were left stranded when the roof of their dormitory block, which also houses three classrooms, was blown off.

The Rev. James Peter Okello of Grace Pentecostal churches said they had been praying for rain since the region had taken long without rain, but no sooner had they finished than wind and rain befell them, blowing off the rooftop of his house.

Kyankwanzi
Following heavy rains, over 50 families became homeless in Kyankwanzi district over the weekend. Lubiri parish in Kyankwanzi sub-county was the most affected area.

Several buildings at St Kizito and Lubiri primary schools were severely damaged.

Dairies and commercial buildings were also destroyed.

“Two of our main dairies have been destroyed and pastoralists are finding it difficult to preserve their milk. In addition, my cows also died,” Joseph Byampaka, the Lubiri LC 1 chairperson, said.

“We lost over 20 heads of cattle at our ranch, our milk cooler was destroyed, and the building also broken down,” Charles Ssekiwunga, the Wamala Union Diary farm manager, said.

Kampala
A heavy downpour on March 14 disrupted the mayoral elections for several hours.

The rains, which started in the morning, prompted calling off the voting exercise for several hours as polling officials took shelter.

Additional reporting by Godfrey Ojore, Luke Kagiri, Moses Nampala, Goodluck Musinguzi, Henry Nsubuga, Charles Jjuuko and George Bita

Storms devastate Kayunga, Tororo, Ibanda

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