Uganda: Red Cross Warns People in Hilly Areas as Rains Wreak Havoc

23 February 2021

Days after mudslides killed eight people in Kyesika, Karungu, Buhweju district, officials from Uganda Red Cross Society, have issued warning to people staying in hilly parts of especially Western Uganda, asking them to find safer areas.

Speaking to Daily Monitor at the weekend, head of communications and public relations at Uganda Red Cross Society, Ms Irene Nakasiita, said that Buhweju and other areas in Western Uganda are prone to disaster and mechanisms should be out in place to save lives as rains continue to pound the region.

"Now that disaster is on- we are actually experiencing earlier rains than expected because normally we start getting rains from March to at least around April or May," Ms Nakasiita said.

Ms Nakasiita noted that Red Cross has dispatched a team to Buhweju to establish challenges as well as help affected families cope.

"We have community mechanisms for sensitizing and preparing communities and these mechanisms are on. When you go to Mt. Elgon, where we even have community radios, they are having warning messages being disseminated, the Red cross teams are on ground and disaster management committee at the districts are up taking the mantle," she explained.

Bushenyi Red Cross branch manager, Ms Judith Kyobutungi attributed the Buhweju incident to climate change.

"When you reach the area that was hit, there are no trees and the hill is bare. Maybe this would not have happened if there were trees planted on the hill slopes," She stated

Ms Kyobutungi pledged to advocate for planting of trees in the hilly slopes of Buhweju and other mountainous areas to curb effects of climate change.

On February 17, 2021, rains left at least eight people dead and two injured after mudslides swept away the house they were occupying, according to the authorities.

Ms Kyobutungi warned hilly area residents against building on steep slopes arguing that related incidents of mudslides usually could re-occur.

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