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2,000 families in fear as Mt Elgon cracks again

By Joseph Wanzusi

Added 21st September 2020 07:46 PM

The last landslides that the area faced did not lead to loss of life, they destroyed crops

2,000 families in fear as Mt Elgon cracks again

Residents of Bududa looking at a site where a landslide occurred recently.

The last landslides that the area faced did not lead to loss of life, they destroyed crops

About 2,000 families living in eight sub-counties, Bududa district, on the slopes of Mt. Elgon, face an uncertain future after cracks were spotted on the mountain. Of recent, heavy rains have been pounding the region.

The district chairperson, Wilson Watira, said the affected sub-counties are Bukalasi, Bumayoka, Bundesi, Busiriwa, Bushika, Bushiyi, Bulucheke and Nalwanza.

Watira said he regrets the halting of the resettlement programme by the Office of the Prime Minister.

He added that, although the last landslides that the area faced did not lead to loss of life, they destroyed crops.

"In the event that families are forced out of their homes, people will find it difficult to observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs), while staying in crowded camps for internally displaced people," Watira added.

Robert Matibondo, the LC1chairperson of Mabale village in Bundesi sub-county, told New Vision that residents have witnessed cracks in the village, putting some of the houses on the verge of collapse.

Deo Wambewo, a resident of Nalwanza sub-county, said they are worried that if the rains continue to pound the region, River Manafwa and other rivers that flow from Mt. Elgon may cause more floods.

In a related development, about 900 people from five villages in Bufooto parish, Busano sub-county in Mbale district have been displaced by landslides, following the torrential rains. The affected villages include Shitega, Nabikyenga Buwangwa Lower, Buwangwa Central, and Buwangwa Upper, where a 40-year-old man, Michael Mukaari, died after his house was buried by a mudslide.

Speaking to New Vision, a Red Cross worker, Francis Mukhwana, said residents are exposed to waterborne diseases, such as cholera and dysentery.

Shitega village LC1 chairperson Alex Mukhwana told New Vision that since the incident occurred on September 7, the affected families had by September 10 not received any relief from either Mbale district local government or the Ministry of Relief and Disaster Preparedness.

"The affected families are in urgent need of food and relief items, especially those currently camped at Buwangwa Primary School, following the destruction of their gardens and property," Mukhwana said.

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