Uganda: Floods Ravage Alebtong District

12 September 2019

Floods have devastated Omoro and Adwir sub-counties in Alebtong District damaging property, destroying crops and displacing families.

Currently, 10 villages are reported to have been affected.

Mr Patrick Odic, a resident of Oluto Village in Abukamola Parish, said the disaster has affected crops such as maize, sesame, millet, sweet potatoes, and soya beans.

"Cassava tubers have started rotting underground as most of the gardens have been submerged," Mr Odic said.

He added: "We have been informed that officials from the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) will visit the affected areas to assess the extent of the damage."

Mr Moses Acir, a resident of Omarari Village, said several houses and pit latrines have collapsed.

"We fear that there could be an outbreak of cholera since human faeces are flowing into unprotected spring wells, but residents are being advised to boil drinking water," Mr Acir said.

The Omoro LC5 councillor, Mr James Abura, said: "Even before the matter was presented before the district council meeting last week, we had already presented it to the district disaster management committee and we are waiting for their response."

He added that they were yet to present a framework document before the district council for approval.

The district chairperson, Mr Denis Johnson Okello, said whenever they are faced with such disaster, OPM takes charge.

"It's OPM that normally comes to our rescue, while handling such disaster," Mr Okello said.

The National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management, October 2010 indicates that the primary responsibility for disaster risk management rests with the citizens. Government is mandated to play a supportive role.

The policy further stipulates that individuals have an obligation to prepare and respond to disasters.

Disaster prone area

Alebtong and Otuke districts in Lango sub-region have been prone to flooding for many years.

In 2007, the sub-counties of Abako, Omoro and Apala in Lira District experienced heavy rains leading to foods.

More than 4,000 residents were affected.

In 2014, heavy rains pounded 46 villages in the parishes of Alolololo and Ocokober, all in Omoro Sub-county, and destroyed 75 houses including pit latrines.

Three primary schools namely Angicakide, Angem and Okomo, and about 2,000 people got affected.

In June 2018, more than 4, 000 people were affected when floods devastated Omoro Sub-county.

Many acreages of crop gardens in 46 villages in Ocokober, Alolololo and Oculukori parishes were destroyed.

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