Uganda: Floods Displace One Million Ugandans

20 October 2021

Government has said more than one million people staying in mountainous areas and those bordering water bodies and landing sites have been affected by the ongoing floods and heavy rain.

A number of schools, roads, bridges and health facilities worth more than Shs200 billion have also been washed away or submerged.

Addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala yesterday, the State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Ms Esther Anyakun, said the most affected districts are Kayunga, Kasese, Bududa, Kayunga, Nakasongola ,Ntoroko ,Sironko, and Butaleja, among others.

"Since April 2020, the torrential rains have caused a lot of havoc in the country. Currently, the heavy rains received is characterised by windstorms, hailstorms and lightning strikes that have destroyed crops in the country side, claimed lives and led to raise in water levels in all rivers and lakes," Ms Anyakun said.

"As a result, roughly one million people have been affected by the current conditions with some sleeping in churches, schools and others public places," she added.

Seventeen people in western districts of Kisoro (seven), Rubanda (three), and Kanungu (two) and in northern's Alebtong (five) have also lost their lives as a result of lightning strikes.

Ms Anyakun said most communities at the shores of lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Albert have been greatly affected due to an increase in water levels.

According to Ms Anyakun, 22 of 25 landing sites in Nakasongola have been affected with 1,762 people displaced.

Five schools in the district and the maternity unit at Lwampanga Health Centre lll are submerged.

At least 7,965 households in Kayunga have also been displaced by the floods, something the minister said has posed a major food security risk with deteriorating sanitation since many pit-latrines have been submerged.

Equally in Kasese, at least 2,063 people have been displaced after River Nyamwamba burst its banks last month.

Currently, the situation in mountainous areas of Elgon is worsening with the district officials recording numerous mudslides in Bulucheke Sub-county. Sironko is equally affected.

The Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, with her team last week visited the Elgon region, specifically Bududa, to assess the situation.

Govt intervention

Ms Anyakun said government has since developed a relief distribution plan for the affected districts and with support from the UN World Food Programme, eight trucks were provided to compliment the ongoing food distribution and non-food relief items. She said a disaster management plan is being developed to find a medium and long term solution to manage disasters.

The plan will, among others, decentralise disaster management to the district level. Government has also started identifying land to resettle people who have been displaced by the floods, especially those in high risk areas.

Unlike last year where government resettled people who were hit by the landslides in Elgon region in Kiryadongo, government this time plans to identify land within the affected districts to settle the victims.

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