Kasese floods: Museveni says sorry, over 35,000 people are displaced

Buildings demoslished by floods. Courtesy photo.


Eight people have died in Kasese district after floods and landslides hit some parts of the district early this week.

The most affected areas boarders Democratic Republic of Congo. According to Daily Monitor, transportation between Uganda and DRC was also cut off after the main bridge was water-logged by River Thaku.

River Thaku burst its banks at around 5am [on Thursday], forcing hundreds of residents to run for their lives, reports Daily Monitor.

Six of those feared dead are residents of Bughabirwa and Kanone villages in Kiraro Parish, Kitholhu sub-county, while the other two are soldiers who were guarding crossing points on the border.

“Two other UPDF soldiers were rescued and have been admitted to Bwera hospital in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Town Council.”

Brig Richard Karemire, the UPDF spokesperson confirmed the incident, saying the army is on a rescue mission.

“It is true one of our soldiers was washed away by the heavy waters. Rescue efforts continue,” Brig Karemire said without offering further details. 

On Monday, Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Hon Betty Aol Ochan led a delegation of MPs to Kasese to ascertain the level of impact of the calamity that has left close to 200 people hospitalised.

“My delegations included; Hon. Ssewungu Gonzaga Joseph, the Democratic Party Whip, Hon. Ochan Patrick the Member of Parliament for Apac Municipality (UPC) and Hon. Nanyondo Veronica, the Woman Member of Parliament for Bukomansimbi (DP),” Mrs Ochan said. 

“My delegation was led into on spot field tour of the affected areas and camps where over 35,000 people were displaced,” she added.

She says people displaced and currently living in camps need immediate response in terms of sanitary ware, and establishment of tentative medical camps to enable treatment of patients from within the camps.

“Kasese district is a major trade route to Democratic Republic of Congo; the floods have naturally stalled tourism sector, mining sector and has destroyed a cobalt banker worth shs90b, distorting the entire economic livelihood in the Rwenzori region,” Aol, who’s also the Gulu Municipality MP, noted.

President Museveni has warned politicians from turning Kasese disaster into a political matter, but urged for a permanent solution.

“We may not get a solution to this in one day but we must agree on the way forward without cheap politics or lying to people,” Mr Museveni said, during his visit to Kasese early this week.

The President also apologised to the people of Kasese while addressing the district leaders, adding that some years ago rehabilitation plan was put in place.

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