KASESE – About 46,339 people in Kasese district that are camped at schools since about three weeks ago after destructive flooding as a result of simultaneous bursting of five main rivers of Lhubiriha, Mubuku, Nyamwamba, Nyamugasani and Sebwe wreaked havoc on the district ponder the next move after schools open next week.
The floods swept away several homes, schools, bridges, roads and health facilities and deposited sand and huge boulders that crashed everything in its way.
Now the displaced people living at schools are faced with a second eviction following the presidential directive instructing the ministry of education to allow only candidate classes to resume on June 2.
Mr Kelvin Muhindo, the Central Division Community Development Officer said, “All flood victims should find relatives and for those who feel need to go to villages the municipal authorities have provided transport means for everyone who wish to go home since the schools that host campers need to be used for classes by Monday”.
People leaving in camps have expressed fear on their next move since the only safe and spacious shelter for flood victims was schools.
Worse still the local authorities have advised them to relocate and live with their relatives because the government cannot now find land to settle them.
The biggest part of Kasese district that has never been split is covered by three national parks, mountain areas and water bodies but people have been asked to shift to safer places.
Most of the displaced people are some parents who lost everything when floods entered into teir houses and spoilt pupils’ school notes and textbooks.
However, Rural Focus Initiative-Uganda, a sustainable project led by Mr Claus Oellerking from German through the project officer, Mr Yoona Matsitsi said that they have started a free campaign to train over 200 young mothers who are willing to learn tailoring, and making shopping bags which can be sold to markets.
“Mothers need to be trained on at least simple skills that can sustain them during the lockdown even when they leave camps since they need land, food, school fees and shelter for sustainability since schools are yet to begin” Matsitsi said.
“Schools are likely to begin next week but flood victims have nowhere to go and the government has not secured or shown any free space to relocate them” Mr Baluku James, the Executive Director Rural Focus Initiative-Uganda observed.
Baluku explained that most families which are homeless need to start entrepreneur skills for young mothers who can do tailoring and make shopping bags and baskets which can help them generate some money.
Baluku expressed that learners will be starting soon but families that stay in comps and have been under lockdown without working need to be trained on how to start up something to boost their daily life.
Ms Musoki Margret a parent with six children appealed to the government to provide shelter for them since they have nowhere to go as their houses were swept away by floods.
Rural Focus Initiative-Uganda has also donated relief food items to people in camps which include; 1000kgs of cassava flour, 50 bunches of matooke, 12 boxes of bar soap and 30 baskets.
However, President Museveni, last week visited Kasese and told the leaders that the Kasese problem can’t take one day to solve.
“We may not solve this in one day, but we must agree on the way forward without cheap politics or deceiving people, just facts. We shall look after the displaced people and support them. But this cannot be a way of life,” he said.