Heavy winds leave staff and pupils with no roof

By Andrew Masinde

According to Stephen Oringtho, the hospital superintendent, the hospital is in crisis after the winds blew off the roofs of the staff houses and others.

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 NWOYA-Thirty-eight staff have been left homeless at Anaka general hospital, located in Nwoya district after heavy winds blew off the roofs of the staff houses.

At the hospital, many were seen gathering their belongings from the debris while others were seated on verandas with their properties confused.

Akello Cecilia, a mother of six and nursing assistant at the hospital, who is among those affected, says that it was at 3:00pm when the rains started normally.

However, after five minutes, heavy winds started flowing with a lot of force.

After the roofs began shaking. And in no time debris started falling and what followed was the roof jumping off.

“It was like an earth quake. Luckily all staff rushed out and none was affected apart from our properties,” she says.

According to Akello, she has no relative nearby hence she was forced to sleep under the broken roof with her children. By midday, she was still with her luggage and children on the collapsed veranda.

“I am requesting that the responsible persons help get me a house because I have no were to go with my children. This is something that has never happened in this community,” she noted.

According to Stephen Oringtho, the hospital superintendent, the hospital is in crisis after the winds blew off the roofs of the staff houses and others.

He noted that 12 staff are already affected after their roof was blown off completely and more 24 living in houses that are about to fall off after developing huge cracks.

He also revealed that the roof for the newly constructed private wing has also been blown off, the children ward, the generator house, laundry house, the huge hospital solar panel on the laboratory has also been blown off partly, among others.

Anaka Hospital is among the many regional hospitals that were constructed in the late 60’s.

The hospital has a bed capacity of 145 people.

According to Oringtho, apart from few blocks and two staff houses that were recently renovated by government, many more still need urgent repair.

He pointed out that the hospital has ten staff houses each accommodating 12 staff and only two have been renovated leaving the eight in a sorry state.

“With the current destruction, we are worried even more staff are likely to be homeless if we get another heavy wind. Government should urgently do something lest the next catastrophe might claim lives,” he noted.

According to Oringtho, service delivery has been affected because staff are busy looking for were to go while others are still in shock.  He reveled that the hospital does not have enough staff accommodation hence one house is shared by four staff.

 One of the blocks that was destroyed by the heavy wind. (Photo by Andrew Masinde)

“And with the collapsing of the two blocks, it has posed another big problem. We are lucky that only properties were destroyed, and no life injured but if nothing is done, we don’t know what will happen next time,” he lamented.

Betty Kibwota, the LC5 vice chairperson, Nwoya  says this has come as a surprise to the district because such destruction had not happened before. She noted that there have been minor cases but this time it is much.

She called upon the office of the disaster preparedness and ministry of health to come to their rescue, noting that as a district they have limited budgets. “Even the buildings at the district headquarters are damaged so the district is in a crisis,” she noted.

George Butele Ayiba, the District Education Officer, Nwoya also said a number of classes and staff houses have also been destroyed by the wind.

According to Ayiba, some of the schools destroyed include; Anaka Central Primary School were staff houses were destroyed, Oruka Primary School were two classrooms blocks were destroyed and also Good Start Primary School among others.

“These pupils and some staff have no roof hence if government does not come up to support urgently, this is likely to affect the school work,” he noted.