Police name Sironko landslide victims

Journalists and Red Cross first responders at the scene of the Sironko disaster. Photo by David Oduut.

Police has identified the person who died in Monday’s landslide that hit Sironko district on Monday.

A statement released by Suwed Mansoor Elgon police spokesman identified the deceased as 45-year-old Teopista Wanyenze from Rusave village Bufupa Parish.

Mansoor said those still missing are; Ivan Wezanba, Sam Woyega (13 years), and Cedrick Wodeya (8 years).

Others are; Jame Namono (9 years), Olivier Nabuzaale (55 years) and Micheal Wodiango (10 years).

The police also warned that about 22 homes are still at high risk as there is a deep crack on a nearby hill.

The landslide triggered by a heavy downpour on Sunday. It destroyed three villages of Marobo and Shikhuyu in Buluchecke Sub-county, and Nabutsasi in Bumayoka Sub-county all in Bududa district.

At least 200 people have been displaced. Those displaced have sought refuge from relatives and friends at the nearby Bunamubi, Bulucheke and Kushu trading centres.

Still on Sunday, another landslide had ravaged Sooti parish, Buluganya sub county in Bulambuli district and destroyed 80 homesteads and hundreds of acres of crops.

Residents in the affected villages have appealed for humanitarian assistance from government, aid organisations and well wishers.

Over 350 people are in desperate need of shelter, food and other basic materials since the landslide buried most of their household items.

Alex Nabende Khuka, a Local Council councillor for Masaba Sub-county, says no help as been brought to affected people.

With the bitter cold on the Mount Elgon slopes, Nabende fears that women and children are likely to develop pneumonia.

Margaret Nabushi, a mother of four whose home was buried in the Sunday landslide in Marobo village, says she has not eaten for two days.

Patrick Namutali said he has lost his plantations of bananas, onions and coffee which have been his only source of income.

“Apart from losing a source for my children’s school fees, my family is surely going to starve to death,” Namutali said.

Wilson Watila the Local Council Five chairperson for Bududa district has asked government to move fast with relief.

“If government feels that these people are also Ugandans, then it should move fast to save them because currently they are sleeping hungry and are in dire need of food and shelter,” Watila said.

He said government thereafter should also seek a lasting solution for the Bugisu region disasters.

“When the rains subside, government and local leaders should find ways of solving this landslide issue once and for all. To me, the issue of resettlement is key as more cracks have been reported on the mountain.”

Red-Cross to offer a hand
Meanwhile, Irene Nakasiita, the Uganda Red Cross head of communications and public relations, has said that the humanitarian organistion has dispatched a team with Non Food Items to be distributed in Sironko and Bududa.

“Our disaster response team in Mbale has already done the assessment and a team with mobilised items has set off and will be ready to give out the items by Wednesday,” Nakasiita said, adding that Red Cross is also coordinating with the Office of the Prime Minister in responding to the disaster.

Nakasiita meanwhile advised that people living in disaster prone areas should take mitigation methods like shifting to safer areas since climate changes has made natural disasters more frequent and destructive.




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