BUDUDA – Bududa district referral is stranded with four unclaimed bodies retrieved from the mudslide that struck Bukalasi sub-county in Bududa district.
Hospital authorities said the unidentified bodies were taken to the hospital mortuary last week and are being kept, waiting for their relatives to claim them in vain.
Mr Wilson Watira, the LCV chairman told PML Daily that the district is considering burying the four bodies in Bukalasi this weekend if nobody comes up to claim them.
“We retrieved the bodies last week, kept them at Bududa hospital mortuary but up to now nobody has claimed them. I think these could have been businessmen who had gone to the area to carry out business,” Mr Watira said.
Last week on Saturday, October 13, Tsume river burst its banks at about 2:30pm local time following a heavy downpour in Mt Elgon national park “and caused a landslide up the mountain that covered more than 70 people according to local authorities.
“It rolled big boulders through a village in Bukalasi sub-county, killing several people, burying houses and domestic animals,” Mr Martin Owor, the commissioner for disaster preparedness at OPM said in a statement.
“And about 52 bodies were retrieved from the mudslides and along Tsume and Manafwa rivers in Bukalasi and the bodies have since been given a decent burial by their relatives,” added Mr Owor.
He revealed that although the OPM early warning system was able to detect about 67landslides this year and alerted people to move away to avoid death, this particular landslide was not detected because it started deep in Mt Elgon national park.
Apparently, the Naposhi and Tsume, from a distance–the buried villages look like a freshly graded garden ready for planting but one can only notice there was a landslide from the horrid stench of the bodies that have started decomposing and heavy stones swept down from Mt Elgon.
Mr Watira said the number of bodies retrieved from the mudslide areas yesterday rose to 52 after nine more bodies were retrieved from the rubble in Bukalasi.
Bududa district in the foothills of Mount Elgon, which lies on the border between Uganda and Kenya, is a high risk area for landslides.
Mr Qwor says they are now in the final stages of planning to resettle the survivors and about 900 people displaced by the landslides in Bulambuli anytime.
“Government has purchased land for resettlement of the Mt Elgon people living in landslide prone areas in Mt Elgon area and this is where we are taking them for resettlement,” said Mr Owor.
He explained that the land in Bulambuli has been divided into three blocks 93 near the road supposed to be for settlement, Plot 94 for Churches, schools and mosques and, Plot 10 will be for agricultural production and that this will be through irrigation to create a model resettlement scheme.