MBALE: A mini report by the Mbale Regional Emergency Response Operation Center shows that 80 homesteads were washed away by floods that hit Mbale City over the weekend. The report also shows that the floods displaced 5,600 people, some of whom have now taken shelter in schools. The report also shows that another 356,000 people are still at risk of flooding.
The same report shows that the floods destroyed over 5000 acres of crops, including beans, maize, tomatoes, coffee, bananas, and rice, among others. The floods also destroyed 600 head of cattle, 111 pigs, and 4500 chickens. The most affected areas, according to the report, include Nkoma, Bufumbo, Namabasa, Bukonde, Namayonyi, Kibagala in Mbale City Northern Division and Bugema, Namatala, Malukhu, Marare, Mabanga, Musoto, Masanada, Doko, and Nasenyi in Industrial City Division.
The floods, which resulted from heavy rains that pounded Mbale city on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, also claimed several lives. At least 22 bodies have so far been recovered. Several people are still missing. The majority of the dead were travelers, including boda boda riders and motorists in small vehicles.
The floods submerged schools such as Khadija Education Center, Bugisu High School, IUIU Primary School, Shekaina Glory Internatonal School, Namayonyi SDA and health centres like Ahamadiya Health Center III, Bukasakya Health Center III and Namakwekwe Health Center III. They also damaged major bridges in Mbale city, including Busamaga bridge, Balweta-Nanyonja bridge, Makosi-Namanyoni bridge, Doko-Namabasa bridge, Busanjabwankuba bridge, Nambale bridge on Mbale Tororo road, among others.
Dr. John Baptist Woniaye Nambohe, the Commissioner in charge of Emergency Services in the Ministry of Health, says that they are still compiling information about the disaster. He says that the office of the Prime Minister has delivered relief food for distribution to the affected households in Mbale and Kapchorwa districts.
Prime Minister Robinan Nabanjja, who was in Mbale City on Sunday, blamed the disaster on environmental degradation. She said that as the government looks for solutions, there is a need for the people living near the river banks to vacate to avoid future calamities.
Sarah Nambafu, a resident of Milembe cell, says that floods swept all her property, leaving her and her children with nothing.
Aida Nabugwere, one of the affected people and a resident of Bungokho, says that the floods washed away her house and whatever was in it.
In Sironko district, the floods affected 480 households, especially in Sironko town council and Bukise sub-county. In Bulambuli district, 450 households have been left homeless following the Saturday incident, which affected the sub-counties of Sisiyi, Bufumbo, Masira, Nabongo, Muyembe, Bukhalu, and Buginyyanya, among others.
Five sub-counties were also affected in the Manafwa district, which includes Buwangani, Manafwa town council, Bwagogo, Bukhadala, Bunabwana, and Buyinza town council.