Uganda: Rising Lake Victoria Waters Swallow More Villages

Researchers collecting samples of water from the shores of Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Kenya (file photo).

Masaka — Increasing water levels at landing sites on the Lake Victoria shoreline in Masaka District have started extending to villages, sparking fears among residents.

By Wednesday, the floods had swept through five villages in Makonzi Parish, Bukakata Sub -County, displacing 450 households. The affected villages include Kasaka, Bwami, Bukoko,Kisuku and Makonzi .

The floods first submerged the landing sites of Lambu, Kaziru, Kisuku, Malembo and Kachanga, forcing 20,000 people to relocate to safer places on the mainland where they have since set up makeshift houses.

"At first we thought it was a problem of people at landing sites but the floods are extending to our villages located 20kms away. So far 18 houses have been destroyed and residents have nowhere to sleep," Mr Noordin Kagenda, the chairperson of Bwami Village, said on Wednesday.

He said about 200 acres of beans, tomatoes, cassava and other gardens were destroyed.

Ms Maria Nakachwa, a resident of Kisuku Village, said when the floods started on Monday night, they made an alarm but received no help while recovering their property.

"When I saw the floods, my first instinct was to rescue my children, I took off with them abandoning the house," She says, adding that her garden was also ruined.

Mzee Godfrey Kakooza said all his property was destroyed.

"The beds were soaked in water and all dishes, saucepans, clothes and other items were washed away," he said.

Bukakkata Sub-county chairperson Aloysius Jjuko said no deaths have been recorded though residents are at high risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever , cholera and Hepatitis A due to deteriorating sanitation in the area .

"Our focus has been on those displaced from landing sites but the problem has escalated; residents have lost houses and crops and government should assist them as well," he said.

Masaka Resident District Commissioner Herman Sentongo said his office would petition the Ministry of Disaster and Preparedness to extend relief assistance to the victims.

Flash floods have also caused similar havoc in neighbouring Kalangala Islands, cutting off three landing sites them from the main Bugala Island.

The affected landing sites are Kaazi-Malanga , Mukalanga and Kasamba in Bujumba Sub-county.

Mr Federico Ssekatawa, the chairperson of Kaazi- Malanga Village, said life has become very difficult as residents lack food, clean water and medical supplies.

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