Uganda: Bugisu Landslides - More Bodies Recovered As Toll Increases to 13

(file photo).
8 December 2019

Eight more bodies have been recovered in Bududa and Sironko districts following landslides in Bugisu sub-region triggered by heavy rains, bringing the death toll so far to 13.

The search and rescue team led by police and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) retrieved the bodies using an excavator on Friday and Saturday. However, more are feared dead as several people are still missing.

Earlier, five bodies had been recovered by the locals using hand hoes in the affected villages of Naposhi, Shikhururwe and Namasa in Bushika Sub-county and Naroko village in Bunabutiti sub-county.

According to the residents and local leaders, more bodies are still buried under the debris.

"More are still buried. We pray we find them so that we can give them a decent burial,"Ms Mary Nabutuwa, a survivor, who also lost her husband but his body was still missing by Friday, said.

The landslides also left more than 300 families displaced and currently sheltering themselves at their respective relatives' homes, churches and schools.

However, Daily Monitor learnt that the operator of the excavator fell sick and was unable to work on Sunday.

"We are told the operator will not work today (Sunday) because he is sick. Why would government send only one operator? We want to see the bodies of our missing relatives," Mr George Nambale, LCI chairperson of Shikhururwe village said.

The LCV chairperson, Bududa District, Mr Wilson Watila confirmed that four more bodies were retrieved bringing the number to 9.

"But more are still missing and the search will continue," he said.

Mr Watila, however, said UNRA should leave the excavator to work for at least one week because the two days they were given are not enough for the effective search.

"The excavator should be here for more a week because the affected area is big and the machine is only one with the one operator," he said.

He added they are also facing challenges of lack of enough money to buy fuel for the excavator.

"We have borrowed fuel to enable the machine run for three days but after that, we are not sure where more fuel will come from," he said.

Another landslide hit villages of Bunagisa village in Shimoma parish in Zesui sub -county in Sironko district. Four more bodies have recovered and eight are still missing.

In Manafwa district, resident are also living in fear after reports of fresh cracks, which have been cited in parishes of Bumukari, Butuwa, Bukimanayi and Bunamungoma in Kaato Sub-county.

Ms Allen Khalayi, one of the resident, appealed to government to come to their rescue.

"We pray that government gets serious and relocate us to a safe place before we die, "Ms Khalayi, said.

The Manafwa RDC, Mr Ahamad Washaki, said has written to the office Prime Minister (OPM) for intervention.

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