MANAFWA – Authorities in Manafwa have asked government to relocate over 1,500 residents in the district because more cracks are emerging on Mt Elgon, which could have devastating effects similar to those currently afflicting Bududa.
On October 11, a deadly landslide hit Bukalasi Sub-county in Bududa District and swept villages and schools, leaving close to 50 dead.
And Mr John Musila, the Manafwa District chairman, said their assessment reports indicate that there are widening cracks running through Mt Elgon.
“We have done a vulnerability assessment but reports indicate that the cracks run through the rocks. People have to be relocated to other safer zones to avoid the Bududa disaster,” Mr Musila said in an interview.
He added that the crack, which is over 5kms long is in the sub-counties of Bunabuzale, Weswa and Kaato.
“These people need to be resettled to safer areas. The people are sitting on a time bomb because the prone area is quite dangerous. We appeal to the government to cut across the entire region to have these people settling in such prone areas relocated to safer zones,” Mr Musila said
The most affected areas, he said, are Namisindwa hill, Mukoto, Bupoto, Shikunga and Bumukali parishes.
Mr Musila’s remarks come a day after President Museveni on Sunday visited Bukalasi sub-county, the scene of the deadly landslides in Bududa District, and ordered for the immediate relocation of all residents living in the risky mountainous area to safer places.
The President, who apologized to the families of the dead that have so far reached 42, blamed some politicians for misleading him about the resettlement plan.
“I apologise for delaying but now, we are going to relocate you as soon as possible. I was misled by some of your leaders but now relocating people is no longer a debate,” he said at Bukalasi grounds.
“In 2010, I told you to relocate but you thought I was telling lies. I think you know that I was talking the truth now and everybody has agreed to be relocated,” he added.
The President gave Shs5m and Shs2m to each family that lost a relative and those with relatives, who sustained injuries, respectively. He also urged residents to conserve the environment and warned them against settling near the river banks and high- risk areas.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the process of relocating people has already started because the government has land both in Bulambuli and Kiryandongo district where landslide victims will be resettled.