People living at Gibisi camp, who were displaced by landslides in Masaba sub-county of Sironko district, are currently facing challenges of food, mosquito nets, and clean water.
But as if their situation wasn’t bad enough, a sub-county councilor has taken off with a chunk of their relief food and gone into hiding as the victims face starvation.
Last month, heavy rains hit the Bugisu region, and 29 people were killed, property destroyed, and hundreds displaced after landslides and floods occurred.
The Sironko district landslides hit the six villages of Masala, Gibisi, Namusutu, Gibwagai, Bukinyala, and Masaba in Bukinyala parish in Masaba sub-county, leaving properties like animals, crops, and houses, among others, destroyed completely. This forced the Sironko district disaster management committee to create a temporary Gibisi resettlement camp to settle 78 people out of the 300 who have left their homes.
Last week, according to John Wodura, the chairperson of Gibisi resettlement camp, the ministry of disaster and preparedness donated some food items.
Officials, however, say 1500 kilograms of flour and 500 kilograms of beans were stolen by Michael Mafabi, the area sub-county counselor who is on the run currently.
Wodura says that people living in the camp now have no food for their family members. All clean water pipes, roads, and crops in six villages were buried by land during landslides.
He adds that it is not only people living in camps but the entire population that was affected by landslides that is facing challenges of food and clean water, among other problems.
Laban Wanyala, the former LCIII chairperson of Masaba Sub County, says these people staying in the camp and other local areas are at risk of getting cholera and other related diseases as they are getting dirty water from nearby streams, ponds, and other dirty sources.
He urged the government to support the victims with chemicals that treat water, mosquito nets, and clothes as they prepare to vacate them. Sam Muzenze, also one of the displaced persons at Gibisi camp, says that since he lost everything during the landslide, the government should support him with money such that he can buy a safe place to stay in the district.
Lydia Gimono, the district vice chairperson of Sironko, says that as a district they are handicapped in regard to resources, so they have nothing to help the victims. She adds that the government doesn’t fund district disaster management committees, which has created a problem for them in terms of fixing broken water pipes and roads that were buried during landside in the area.