By Mable Nakibuuka
The second rainy season has come with disaster after mudslides ravaged parts of Mbale District, in Eastern Uganda, leaving one person dead and several others injured on Monday night.
According to officials from Red Cross, the mudslides affected areas of Bunarutere Village, Bubyangu Sub-County, in Bubyangu Parish, where one person, a 6-year-old boy is said to have died.
The parents of the deceased and his grandmother sustained severe injuries after their house collapsed during the heavy storm and was washed away by the mudslides.
Mudslides have been ravaging several villages in Mbale District and other parts of Eastern Uganda since 2010.
For instance, last year alone, five people died and dozens went missing after heavy rains triggered a series of landslides in Bududa District.
A statement from the office of Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said “there are reports of displacement and destruction of property as well as missing persons” in the country’s mountainous Bududa district.
The Red Cross said about 50 people were believed to be missing and 150 houses had been destroyed after the mudslides ravaged the foothills of Mount Elgon – an extinct volcano with five major peaks.
“Five confirmed dead,” said Uganda Red Cross spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita, adding these included a 73-year-old woman and several children.
Bududa district, which lies on the border between Uganda and Kenya, is a high-risk area for landslides.
In 2010, at least 100 people were killed in a mudslide and at least 41 died after a river in the region burst its banks in 2018.
After the disaster, the government said the region, where people live on extremely steep slopes, was too dangerous to be habitable and a programme was launched to relocate residents.
However, similar incidents claimed lives in 2011, 2012 and 2016.
“In total, over 100,000 people living precariously on the slopes of Mount Elgon are estimated to be at great danger and requiring relocation” to avoid the danger of landslides, said a statement from the prime minister’s office.
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