By Mike Sebalu
The Uganda Red Cross Society has expanded its rescue operations following yesterday’s landslides in Bulambuli district, to include other affected areas like Buluganya parish, in the villages of Masugu, Namakere, Kagulu and Namagugu.
The landslide, which was triggered by a heavy downpour also buried livestock and crops.
Mark Barasa, the Bulambuli district vice chairman says one body was recovered by locals shortly after the rains subsided.
According to the Red Cross spokesperson Irene Nakasiita, two people have been injured and admitted at Muyembe Health Centre IV.
She says rescue efforts and the search continues this morning for the 7 missing members of a family whose house is said to have been covered completely by the mudslides.
Meanwhile, Bulambuli district leaders have renewed calls for government to hasten the process of relocating families that are living in mudslide-prone areas.
According to Bulambuli District Chairperson, Milton Kamoti, the area is experiencing high rainfall of above 1500mm which could lead to landslides and flash floods given the nature of topography and hilly terrain.
He warns that more lives could be lost if no action is taken, saying currently in Bubiita sub-county, in Buduuda, there is a crack of about 3km running through several villages to River Tsume.
Government started the resettlement of landslide victims in 2019, mostly from the districts of Bududa, Bulambuli, Manafwa, Sironko and Namisindwa.
According to the Manafwa Woman MP, Gorreti Kitutu, close to 300 families comprising more than 5,000 people have so far been resettled with each family getting a house sitting on one acre and two acres for farming.
On May 8th, President Museveni directed all people in flood-prone areas to vacate and resettle at least 50 metres away from the riverbanks, 200 metres from lake shores and no building should be constructed on hills with a gradient greater than 30 degrees.
However, some residents are said to have resisted the call for relocation for various reasons including what they call little compensation money.