One killed, 10 missing in Ugandan landslide

A series of landslide hits villages around Mt Elgon.

Residents of Bulucheke Sub-County of Bududa District, in eastern Uganda, at the scene of the landslide on August 27, 2017. The nearby Sironko District was hit by a landslide on August 28. PHOTO | MONITOR | NMG 

IN SUMMARY

One person has been killed and ten others are missing in a village in Sironko district following a series of landslides that have hit eastern Uganda, the police said Thursday.

In the last two weeks, landslides have been reported in Bududa district in the Mount Elgon area as well as neighbouring Sironko, destroying homes and property, and displacing hundreds of residents.

Deputy police spokesperson, Polly Namaye, confirmed that one person died in Sironko. She added that search and rescue operations were underway for those reported missing.

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The landslide in Sironko came a day after another destroyed three villages in Bududa.

According to local leaders and security officials, several homes were destroyed, livestock buried and at least 200 people displaced.

Member of Parliament for Manjiya constituency in Bududa, John Nambeshe, told The EastAfrican on Monday that at least 14 homesteads had been destroyed and 200 people forced to flee their homes after landslides hit three villages on Sunday.

“There are fresh cracks that have been noticed around Mount Elgon but the people living around don’t want to relocate, we have not yet got response from government about the issue so far,” Mr Nambeshe said.

Bududa is prone to landslides with the worst natural disaster having occurred on March 1, 2010 in which at least 360 people were killed after a mudslide.

The government says at least 300,000 people live in a disaster prone around Mount Elgon and has advised them to relocate to safer zones.

Following the March 2010 disaster, the government relocated more than 3,000 people from Bududa to Kiryandongo in western Uganda.

Emergency response

The Uganda Red Cross Society told The EastAfrican on Monday that all disaster response teams have been on high alert while some are undertaking a weeklong emergency preparedness refresher course in Kisoro district, western Uganda, following the start of the rainy season.

“All national response teams from the military, the police and other players are undergoing refresher training in Kisoro as we speak, they have been there for a week,” said Irene Nakasita, the Uganda Red Cross head of communications, adding that “as the weather changes, the threats of natural disasters increase, that is why we are doing this preparation.”

The Ugandan landslides follow similar deadly disasters in less than two weeks, where 40 people were killed in DR Congo and more than 1,000 died after mudslides and flooding hit Sierra Leone capital Freetown.

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