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Bududa IDPs complain of mishandled relocation

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd November 2010 03:00 AM

RESIDENTS of Bukalasi sub-county in Bududa district have accused the Government of relocating people who were not affected by the landslides in March.

RESIDENTS of Bukalasi sub-county in Bududa district have accused the Government of relocating people who were not affected by the landslides in March.

By Daniel Edyegu

RESIDENTS of Bukalasi sub-county in Bududa district have accused the Government of relocating people who were not affected by the landslides in March.

They said most people who were being ferried to Kiryandongo from Bulucheke were masqueraders seeking to get land, those who fled Mt. Elgon cracks in Manafwa district and people from areas that suffered the subsequent mini-landslides in Bududa, but not the priority areas.

“When the landslide occurred, most people fled to Bukalasi trading centre where the first camp was established. But when the Government gazetted Bulucheke camp and disbanded Bukalasi, a few survivors opted to return to here (Nametsi village) to tend their gardens.

“The Red Cross turned us away when we went to register later, saying the camp was full and lacked additional space to set up tents,” Job Wetaya, a coffee farmer, said.

The Office of the Prime Minister has relocated 1,323 persons to Kiryandongo since the exercise started on October 6.

First priority was given to survivors of the landslide and displaced persons from the 14 villages of Nametsi, Kubeho, Tunuwasi, Murerwe, Masakhanu and Nakoyonzo, Subisi in Bukasi sub-county.

Others are Matuwa, Tiila, Bunabilabi, Nambere, Rukulu, Nafunani and Tsalitsali in Bumayoka sub-county.

However, continuous heavy rains in the Mt. Elgon region in April displaced more people from Bushika sub-county in Bududa.

In Manafwa, the rains created cracks stretching over 40km in the sub-counties of Mukhoto, Bupoto, Bumbo and Bukhoko.

During the assessment tour in April, the general duties state minister, Janat Mukwaya, told affected residents to relocate to Bulucheke camp.

Except for a few, most houses that were abandoned in Bukalasi sub-county in the wake of the landslides have been reoccupied.

However, Agatha Namee of Tunuwasi village noted that some residents were hesitant to leave the area due to the fertile soils, the cultural attachment to the land and uncertainty about the new place.

Pamela Komujuni, the disaster management officer in the Prime Minister’s office, explained that after the closure of Bulucheke camp, the Government would register people at Bukalasi sub-county and relocate them to Kiryandongo.

“Thereafter, we will end social services such as schools and health centres in the area. Some people have asked us to allow them to finish harvesting food crops and coffee from the fields which will help them start new life in Kiryandongo,” Komujuni said.

Bududa IDPs complain of mishandled relocation

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