Uganda: Landslides Hit Bugisu, Three Bodies Recovered

4 December 2019

At least three people have been confirmed dead and dozens feared dead in Zesui and Masaba sub-counties in Sironko District after landslides swept through several villages yesterday afternoon, following a downpour.

In Bududa District, more than 30 houses were submerged and more than 20 people are feared dead after landslides devastated villages of Namasa and Naposhi in Bushika Sub-county and Naroko Village in Bunabutiti, a newly created sub-county.

The landslides in both districts, were triggered by a downpour, which has been pounding Bugisu Sub-region for the past two weeks.

The Masaba Sub-county councillor, Mr Alex Nabendeh Guga, said the three bodies were recovered from multiple landslides in the villages of Bunegesa and Simuma in Zesui and Masaba Sub-county.

"Three bodies have been recovered but more are still missing. We need government support to search for the missing persons," he said.

Mr Gerald Fungo, the chairperson of Bumasa Village in Bushika Sub-county in Bududa District, said the landslides occurred shortly after River Tsutsu burst its banks, sending muddy water through the villages.

"Our relatives are missing and they were in the houses that were buried by the landslides. We are stranded and don't know where to start digging through the heaps of mud to recover our relatives but I'm sure, they are dead," the grieving Fungo said.

The Elgon Region Police Spokesperson, Mr Robert Tukei, said: "We have not yet established the exact number of people who have died but reports indicate that an unknown number of residents have been killed in the landslides."

The Bududa District chairperson, Mr Wilson Watira, said: "We have not yet established the number of the dead people but what I can tell you is that more than 20 houses were buried and they were occupied."

Mr Watira said accessing the scene of landslides has remained a big challenge because all bridges leading to the affected sub-counties have been destroyed by the floods.

"But we will try our best to reach the scene, may be by tomorrow," he said.

Mr Moses Lukuya, one of the survivors and chairperson of Namali Village, said they are now worried about where to spend the night because they can hardly cross to the homes of relatives in the neighbouring Sub-counties.

The Member of Parliament for Lutseshe County, Mr Godfrey Watenga Nabutanyi, said the landslides and floods also devastated most of bridges, including Buwali bridge connecting to Bukigigai Health Centre IV, among others.

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