19 June 2019

Uganda: Elegu Town Floods - Police Move Suspects to Safety

Police have relocated more than 10 suspects detained at Elegu Police Station in Amuru District for safety after flash floods hit the facility.

The police station was submerged in floods after River Unyama burst its banks during a downpour on Sunday in Elegu Town Council.

Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Region police spokesperson, told Daily Monitor on Monday that the suspects were transferred to a police detention cell at Elegu One Stop Border Post.

"At the moment, we are keeping the suspects away from the police station because we are not sure what will happen tomorrow. It is still raining and there is a possibility that the area will flood which poses risk for the suspects," he said.

Mr Okema said several property belonging to police officers was also destroyed.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeeyi, visited the police station and Unyama River banks during his tour in the region.

Police sources, who attended a meeting with Maj Gen Muzeeyi, said he suggested creation of channels to help divert water from flowing towards the police station.

Businesses paralysed

The floods have also left businesses at the bustling border town paralysed as many shops, restaurants, garages and parking lots remained closed.

The most affected areas are Elegu and Lorikor wards.

Mr Michael Komakech, the Elegu town clerk, said hundreds of people have fled the areas.

"Many people are on high grounds at the moment and some have camped at my office because their homes have been destroyed, they have no where to go. We need urgent assistance inform of blankets, food and tarpaulin from government for the affected people," Mr Komakech said.

He also expressed fear of an outbreak of waterborne diseases, saying many pit-latrines were broken down and faecal waste washed to residential areas. Mr Wilson Baguma Odiya, the Atiak Sub-county chairperson, called for proper planning to avoid recurrent flooding.

"Every June and August, many people suffer losses and this translates into low revenue collection to both the local government and the central government. Government needs to assess the problem closely and find an appropriate solution," Mr Odiya said.

Mr John Mukasa, a mechanic, said he is worried about his business since for the past four years, his shop has suffered flooding whenever the river burst its banks.

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