ISINGIRO – Two pupils in Isingiro district have been confirmed dead, three other people are missing as heavy rains destroyed property worth more than shs400m on Saturday evening.
The Isingiro District Resident Commissioner (RDC) Herbert Muhangi said the two children were killed when the heavy rains companied with strong storm which started at 10am on Saturday found the deceased in the swamp picking papyrus leaves before heavy floods overpowered them.
‘’We have so far confirmed two people who died on Saturday after the heavy downpour that started at around 10pm, one is an 18-year-old student of Kitsyoro secondary School Asiimire Kyarikunda, one a 10-year-old primary three student of Rubagano Primary School Mark Akandinda in Kabuyanda sub-county Isingiro south were killed by floods’’ Mr Muhangi said.
Mr Muhangi said Isingiro district is in agony and worried as six sub-counties as crops, animals, five bridges, roads that connect the district with other districts are cut down, two people are confirmed dead while three are still missing after heavy rains as more than 150,000 people are left without food.
‘’Six sub-counties of Isingiro, Kabingo Birere in Isingiro north constituency, Kikagate, Kabuyanda, and Kabuyanda town council were affected by floods which came following the heavy rains on Saturday that swept away crops, banana plantations, animals, and people died while three are still missing’’ Mr Muhangi said Mr Muhangi said about 150,000 people were affected by floods and property worth more than shs400m destroyed which put the residents in dilemma.
‘’About 150000 people are affected because we have a population of 600,000 people and yet these are highly populated areas. Their property and gardens were swept away. All their roads and bridges have been destroyed and since their bridges are broken down, communication will be limited in people and their businesses will be disorganized, people will face hardships seeking health care and there might be outbreaks because pit latrines were broken down so social services will be affected.’’ Mr Muhangi said
He added ‘’the damages is in millions because all gardens that were in the valley were submerged, we have not got details of destroyed houses but some houses were destroyed, banana plantations in areas of Kabingo were destroyed, like all culverts in the bridges destroyed is a lot of money. Infrastructure like the bridges destroyed costs high so the damages is between shs 400m and shs 500m’’
Mr Patrick Mwesigye Chairman LC1 KagotoI in Kabuyanda sub-county said they are now wondering how they will connect to Kabuyanda town council for health services now that the road connecting them to Kabuyanda health center IV is broken down.
‘’The heavy rains that came on Saturday left us in dilemma as roads connecting us to the Kabuyanda health center IV is destroyed. It means now that if someone gets serious illness, he may not get means to the health center IV which is about 20 km from here,’’ Mr Mwesigye said
The Isingiro South Member of Parliament Alex Byarugaba Bakunda said they have started the process of assessing the magnitude of the damage so that they can seek for food relief to the locals since their plantations have been destroyed as well as work on some broken roads with immediate effect to ensure that people can access health services.
‘’We are still carrying out an assessment of those people badly affected and property because this is one of the most productive areas in the region but their animals, banana plantations, crops, cereals and people were submerged. After the assessment, we will be able to seek for government support in relief food and the broken roads to be worked on immediately because locals cannot now have access to health services’’ Mr Bakunda said
Mr Bakunda asked locals who live near wetlands and rivers to vacate in order to avoid similar challenges in future because this is the second time such disaster befell the people of Kabuyanda and property destroyed.
‘’This is the second time this thing happens but the first one was not as bad as this. I appeal to the residents of this area that even following president’s advice we should all leave river banks immediately at least 100 meters away from the buffer zone or anybody found within the buffer zone will be asked to leave without compensation. We have been talking about this but you do not leave and now all the gardens in the buffer zone of River Rwoho has been destroyed,” Mr Bakunda said