31 January 2013

Uganda: Cholera Strikes Ntoroko As Floods Displace Families

At least 18 cholera cases have recently been confirmed in Ntoroko district following massive displacement of residents by floods.

According to Ntoroko MP Martin Mugara, the patients were admitted to Ntoroko health Center II. He said 10 of the patients were discharged on Monday.

Mugara said over 1,000 families had been displaced by the floods. When New Vision visited the area early this week, the displaced people said the floods have been on since August 2012 when River Semiliki burst its banks, displacing people in four sub counties of Bweramure, Butungama, Rwebisengo, and Kanaala.

Muhereza Kajumba, 63, Kyombe village Bweramure sub county said "The pit latrines were submerged in water; we resort to defecate anywhere. Subsequently water born dieses spread however this exposes the community to diarrhea and other dieses. Stagnant water has a condusive environment for mosquitoes."

The New Vision used a dugout canoe and a raft made of water reeds to access the scattered affected communities off the landing site.

Passengers pay between sh2,000 -1000 for the boat to cross the water, to the landing site, while those who can't afford to pay endure to un dress and wade through the stagnant water which is exposes them to diseases and snakes.

People in the three affected sub counties are largely cattle keepers, while others living along banks of River Semuliki are fisher mongers.

The houses are submerged in the water, people live in make shift shelters made of Tarpaulins and polythene bags.

State minister for disaster Musa Ecweru said he had dispatched a team of experts to assess the situation in the affected area.

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