Thousands displaced by floods across Uganda


Thousands of people have been displaced as a result of heavy rains, which triggered floods and landslides and caused havoc in several parts of Uganda, a top government official has said.

Musa Ecweru, minister of state for relief and disaster preparedness, told Xinhua by telephone that torrential rains which started last month, marking the first major rainfall season in the country, have displaced people, destroyed homes, farms, washed away roads and other infrastructure. He said most of the affected areas include the mountainous and hilly areas in eastern and western Uganda, low lying and plain areas in eastern region. “This problem is across the whole country.

Now there are thousands of people who are displaced. The officers in my office are compiling the figures (numbers of people) and extent of damage for each district across Uganda,” said Ecweru on Sunday. “We are going to sit down and see how to handle the magnitude of the problem. We shall see how to dispatch some support to the affected persons,” he said.

The Office of the Prime Minister has been running alert messages, warning that the country will face floods, landslides, strong winds and lightning as the first rain season peaks.”We have been running alert messages on televisions and radios. These alerts started running about five months ago. We have been telling and warning the country of heavy rains and its dangerous effects,” said Ecweru.

He said landslides have hit the hilly western district of Kabale.Ecweru said people living in mountainous areas, flood prone areas as well as wetlands should immediately vacate to safe places as heavy rains continue.

At least two children were killed by floods following heavy rains in the western district of Rubanda on Saturday, according to police.According to the weather department, several parts of the country especially western and eastern regions, are currently experiencing normal to above normal rainfall, with destructive effects. In its March-May seasonal rainfall outlook, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority warned of enhanced rainfall over several parts of the country that could result into disasters such as landslides and foods, leading to loss of lives and destruction of property in the first major rain season.

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