Uganda: Buyende Floods - Health Centre Stuck With Patients

Jinja — Health workers at Kidera Sub-county in Buyende District, who are receiving victims of the Monday night downpour that left 18 dead and several people injured, are stuck following a power outage at the health facility.

The health workers are also overwhelmed by the increasing number of patients.

The officer-in-charge of Buyende Health Centre 1V, Dr Anthony Kwiri, yesterday said the powerlines were interrupted.

"The hospital theatre, laboratories and refrigerator for vaccines can't work without electricity because they don't have a generator," said Dr Kwiri.

"Since Kidera is a district health centre, we have a caesarean section and surgery for hernia patients. However, these cannot operate without electricity,"

He said the only alternative left is to transfer the patients to Kamuli General Hospital but they lack an ambulance.

Some of the affected are the 10,000 vaccines for polio, measles, tuberculosis, tetanus and cervical cancer that are at a risk of getting spoilt since the refrigerator is not powered.

The manager, Umeme Buyende- Kamuli branch, Mr Nelson Masinde, did not pick our repeated calls.

The hospital which receives about 150 patients daily, is running short of drugs. Most patients who sustained minor injuries have been discharged whereas some are still admitted to Kidera Health Centre 1V and Kamuli General Hospital.

600 pupils stranded

More than 60 pupils in three schools in Kidera Sub-county in Buyende District are stranded after the heavy rain destroyed their school buildings.

The schools are Nabweyo Muslim Primary School in Nabweyo Village, Trinity Joy Primary School and Sky Primary School both in Kibugudho Village in Kidera Sub-county.

Ms Sirista Babigumire, a Primary Seven pupil of Trinity Joy Primary School, is left with less than six months to sit for her final exams. She is stuck without revision materials since her books were swept away.

"I came in the morning only to find when the rains have destroyed our former school," she said.

Kasim Mutebi, a pupil of Nabweyo Primary School, said the heavy rains pulled down both their house and her school.

The chairperson of Parents, Teachers Association, Mr Robert Ssebowa, said 220 pupils have been affected including the school office.

"The only alternative we have currently is to conduct lessons under the trees. We have been left with nothing," he said.

The head teacher of Nabweyo Muslim Primary School, Mr Yasin Hamis, said the school buildings and the mosque were all swept away by the heavy rain.

Mr Hamis said government should come to their rescue because they do not have any plan for the pupils.

The district education officer, Mr Dison Bwire, could not be reached for a comment by press time.

Victims sleep in tents

Several people, who were left homeless after the Buyende rainstorm, have sought refuge in temporary shelters as they await well-wishers to come to their rescue.

Most houses were brought down while others had their iron sheets blown off.

Mr Moses Lubaale, a victim, said he lost his property and the only alternative was to sleep under the tent. "When it started raining, we all fought for our lives but unfortunately my 14-year-old daughter, Immaculate Agoda, did not survive. I lost my child, I have also lost a house. I'm now speechless," he said.

On Wednesday, some residents were digging graves in preparation for burial.

Ms Harriet Nabirye, a victim, said she lost two of her children and husband. "When the rain started, we closed the windows and doors, but I heard a wall collapsing, it fell on my husband and the children, two died but three were removed from the debris alive. I was unconscious, I took off asking for help but I found even my neighbours' houses had collapsed," she said.

Mr Yasin Musana said he lost four family members including two children and grandchildren. "This has never happened in my family, to bury four people at once. My house was also destroyed, government should rescue us with iron sheets and bricks," he said.

Police releases the list of the deceased

According to Busoga North Regional Police spokesperson, Mr Micheal Kasadha, of the 18 flood victims, majority were children.

The deceased are Hawa Friday, 30, Anthony Kabugudhu 6, Kawa Tumwebaze, 4, Clinton Okio, 4, Solomon Byaba, 10, Nusurah Nalubega 10, Fatuma Ndibawaki, 7, Arajab Gombya, 4 , Joan Namusana, 7, Jackson Waiswa, 3, Immaculate Igonda, 14, and Hasifa Nkweke, 8, all from Kidera Sub-county in Buyende District.

Others include Rose Kasowole, 35, Mervin Nadwoni, 10, Eruka Nangobi, 80, Silagi Bagone, two weeks and Subi, 5, and son of Ms Rose Kasowole, all residents of Balawuli and Namasagali Sub-county in Kamuli District.

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