KAMULI – Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has expressed grief at the death of 17 people in Buyende and Kamuli districts at the hands of hailstorms.
The hailstorms that hit Buyende and parts of Kamuli also left several others injured.
In Kidera sub-county, Buyende district, 13 people died, police authorities said, while four other deaths occurred in Balawo and Namasagali.
“I have already contacted the government to provide relief to survivors especially those whose houses and gardens were destroyed,” the speaker said in a statement.
She said that quick stop measures must be put in place to ensure afforestation. Kadaga said that this measure should be enforced by leaders at lower levels to check wanton abuse of the ecosystem.
“The hailstorms have become fierce and resulted in fatalities because of rampant deforestation,” the speaker said. Leaders must encourage the population to replace the trees; the best way forward is to plant fruit trees such as mangoes, oranges, pawpaws, and others,” Ms Kadaga said.
“Besides increasing on the forest cover, they will also provide quick financial income to our communities. Let’s take advantage of the rainy season to start the re-afforestation programme. Once again I join the rest of the country in mourning the dead and sympathizing with those who lost homes and property. I also urge the Ministry of Relief and Disaster Preparedness to intervene urgently,” she said.
The Speaker who returned from the country after her treatment in Nairobi remains on a sick holiday. She is, however, expected to resume work by Thursday this week.