The State Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru has warned ill minded politicians especially from Bugisu Sub region who aim at frustrating government efforts of saving the people’s lives in the landslides prone areas through de-campaigning the relocation strategy.
Ecweru said that in 2010 the government had established a ten year resettlement project titled Resettlement of Landless persons and persons at risk of landslides with an aim of relocating 10,000 people per year.
“The resettlement project, however, did not start in 2011 as had been planed because of few negative minded politicians from Bugisu sub region misled the population to resist the resettlement plan” he said
Ecweru added that “As a result there was an eight year delay in the operationalisation of the plan until November 2018 following the Directive from the President after the landslide had killed 53 people in Bukalasi Sub County in Bududa District”
He said that the 5000 landslide survivors who were transferred and resettled in Kiryandongo have since increased to 10,300 people as many voluntarily followed on their own and settled alongside those who were taken there by the government.
“This contrary to reports that most Bududa landslides survivors resettled in Kiryandongo have abandoned the place and gone back to their former homes in the risky steep slopes of Bududa because of alleged poor services.
“If the eight years of negative political mis-guidance had not occurred, by now the challenges of landslides would be minimal in Bugisu sub region” he said
He made these remarks while addressing journalists on the update on Floods, Landslides and Windstorm Disaster Situation in the Country at the Uganda Media centre on Friday this week.
Between 2nd and 3rd December 2019, constant rains fell in Mount Elgon which caused landslides in the villages of Namasa, Naposhi and Shukururu in Bushika Sub county of Bududa district killing four people, injuring five and displacing over 600.
In Sironko District, two adults and two children were killed in Nabodi village, Bumumulo Parish in Zesui Sub County and 4000 were affected and hundreds of acres of plantations, crops and livestock lost.
According to the Office of the Prime Minister, some Sub Counties of Sironko District of Bukise, Bumasifwa, Masaba, Bumalimba and Budadiri town council faced landslides without deaths and injuries because most people had shifted.
“We have launched an immediate response plan where the government shall release UGX20bn. This money, UGX10bn shall be given to the Ministry of Works, 9bn to the Disaster Preparedness and UGX200 for fixing equipments”
Directives of the president
Ecweru said that the President directed;
The Ministry of health has been directed to supply water guard, aqua to all affected areas to mitigate chances of Cholera. They shall also distribute treated mosquito nets across the country.
The Ministry of Works and Transport shall keep the major highways open and make sure that they alert the public on the conditions of the roads.
They shall also procure inflatable boats in areas where floods cannot allow easy transport and this is done to ensure that the service provision is normal.
The Office of the Prime Minister shall supply both food and non-food items. The non food items shall include blankets (to prevent Pneumonia), clean vessels like jerry cans and food to those that have relocated.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries shall mobilize planting materials and seeds that have been lost for the next season