Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heavy rains in Uganda beginning to subside

Better weather is predicted to come soon, but heavy rains have done heavy damage in Uganda. Thousands of crops have been destroyed, and hundreds of people have fled flooding in eastern and northern Uganda.

From this article by the IRIN, aid workers in the country think that the flooding may not be as bad as last year.

"Some people have been affected by heavy rains with some displaced, but this does not mean that we shall see an emergency because the meteorological department has already told us that the rains are at their end," Musa Ecweru, state minister for disaster preparedness and refugees, said.

Crops in most affected areas, the minister said, had been destroyed, while roads had been degraded. "We think this flood situation will pass without causing the same destruction as last year," he told IRIN on 18 November.

For example, sections of the Lira–Kitgum and Pader–Puranga roads had drastically deteriorated, rendering them virtually impassable.

In Gulu and Amuru districts, food aid trucks have been stuck at several locations, while in Lotukei sub-county of Karamoja, some 4,500 people could not be reached for immunisation due to flooding.

Ugandan media quoted local leaders in the eastern Katakwi District as saying recent floods had cut off the Katakwi-Amuria road, affecting 6,222 households.

The district disaster management committee leader Kenneth Onyait said huts had collapsed, while crops such as sim-sim, cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, maize and cowpeas had been destroyed. Roads had also been washed away and water sources contaminated, while some pit-latrines had collapsed.

Other reports said at least 15,000 people had been displaced across the region, with several districts affected, including Moroto, where 12,000 people have been forced to leave their homes this month.

Photo: Vincent Mayanja/IRIN
The rains have cut off dome communities in northeastern Uganda

In August, the government issued a flood alert, warning people in low-lying areas and on mountain slopes to prepare for heavy rains that could cause landslides.

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