25 May 2018

Uganda: Mother, Baby Perish As Floods Cut Off Moroto

Photo: Abdulkadir Khalif/The Nation
An Amisom vehicle moving civilians to higher ground from floods affected areas in Beledweyne town, the capital of Hiran region, about 335 km north of Mogadishu, on 27 April 2018 (file photo).

Moroto — An expectant mother and her unborn baby died on Tuesday after a vehicle she was travelling in failed to cross a flooded Lorengechora Bridge, 78kms on the Moroto-Soroti road. Torrential rain had pounded the area from Monday 8pm until 7am on that day.

The floods have since paralysed transport between Moroto and Soroti Town, leaving more than 200 vehicles piled up on both ends of the bridge.

Rose Angolere, 27, who was travelling from Matany in Napak District, to deliver in Soroti Town, did not make it to her destination as the vehicle she was travelling in got stuck at the flooded bridge, some 58kms to the town.

Labour pains

Angolere developed sudden labour pains as they waited in vain to cross the flooded bridge from 8am until 6.30pm when she breathed her last.

Chinese contractors, who had excavated a section of the road to install new culverts, also failed to tame the huge volume of gushing water.

Ms Sarah Nangiro, who had accompanied the victim, told Daily Monitor that she had preferred to deliver in Soroti where her husband, Mr John Moru, is working as a security guard. She blamed the Chinese contractors for making it difficult for the vehicles to pass that day.

"The water had reduced and as we pleaded to cross, the Chinese [contractors] started digging a deep trench and did not allow us to cross," she said.

But a one Mr Pong, one of the Chinese workers at the site, said the floods was unmanageable and they failed to create any safe passage for motorists.

Police not aware

However, Mr Richard Aruk Maruk, the regional police commander, said he had not received any report of the incident but promised to investigate the matter.

Moroto-Soroti road is being upgraded to bitumen by two Chinese contractors China Railway Number 3 and China Communications Construction Company Ltd. But the contractors are facing challenge of torrential rain and floods.

The Napak District Council chairperson, Mr Joseph Lomonyang, appealed to government intervene and reconnect the region to the rest of the country.

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