Uganda: Landslide Victims - Water Crisis Delays Construction of Houses

22 January 2019

The ongoing construction of houses for the landslide victims in Bunambutye Sub-county, Bulambuli District, has been delayed due to shortage of water.

Capt Kizito Mulwani, the project engineer, said lack of water slowed down the progress of the construction.

The ongoing construction of 101 houses in the first phase of the project, which kicked off in early December 2018, had been scheduled for completion in February but the progress is slow.

The houses are meant for resettling landslide victims from the districts of Bududa, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Bulambuli and Sironko and more than 500 households will be considered in the first phase of resettlement out of 900 set to be moved.

At the site, the Uganda People's Defence Forces engineering brigade is constructing 76 units and the remaining 25 units are being built by the police construction unit.

But when Daily Monitor visited the site on Sunday, the engineers on the ground said they need more time to complete the remaining work.

Most of the houses were on the window level and others on foundation level. Each house is being built on one acre.

The official launch is set for January 23 by the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, as the guest of honour.

Solution

He, however, explained that the water problem was solved three days back after the National Water Sewerage Corporation dug four boreholes, where they are now getting water for construction.

Mr Deo Wambette, a resident of Suume Village in Bukalasi Sub-county and one of the victims, said government should speed up the construction of houses before the rains start in March, this year.

Mr Nasinairi Nasasa, the vice chairperson of Bukalasi Sub-county, said the displaced victims are living in leaking temporary tents, which were erected at Bukalasi playground.

"Whenever it rains, they do not sleep. The government visited them and have a picture of what they are going through," he said.

The LC chairperson, Mr Wilson Watila, said the government is aware of the suffering of the victims.

"The government is aware and it is providing a permanent solution, which is the relocation and resettlement," he said.

The head of communications in the Office of Prime Minister, Mr Julius Mucunguzi, told Daily Monitor that the construction is on a high pace after the challenge of water was handled.

"There is now enough manpower and water has been provided. One month from now, the landslide victims will be relocated," he said.

Resettlement

According to the resettlement scheme on the 2,800 acres of land, which government acquired in 2013 to resettle landslide victims in Mt Elgon sub-region, more than 250 houses will be constructed on plot Plot 94, which measures 270 acres and Plot 157, which is 918 acres, will house 650 houses, while Plot 198 measuring 1,688 acres will be reserved for mechanised agricultural production.

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