KUMI – A total of 45 poverty-stricken homes in the flood-prone areas of Ongino, Kumi sub-counties, Kumi district have received new permanent houses as means to mitigate effects of waterlogging and seasonal floods.
Mr Francis Olaboro, Chief Administrative Officer for Kumi, told Daily Monitor that the 45 houses are a new offer from Habitat for humanity Uganda, in addition to the 555 houses that they had previously constructed in areas of Omatenga and Ongino.
He said each unit of houses handed to various beneficiaries has 4 rooms, each unit costing Ush23M, and the selection was done based on the vulnerability of the households.
“These families have suffered effects of floods since 2007, and as a safeguard, Kumi local government in partnership with Habitat for humanity thought it wise to have structures for these families, including sanitary facilities,” Mr Olabora said.
Ms Christine Apolot LC5 chairperson for Kumi, said most of the selected families have since 2007 witnessed their grass thatched houses collapse every year whenever waterlogging hits.
She said the scale of destruction as result of waterlogging, floods has always been severe in Omatenga, Akum, and Tisai areas, yet in these areas it’s difficult to find straw grass for the community members to thatch their houses.
“As district we are grateful for the partnership with Habitat for humanity, they are not political but development-oriented, what they have invested in the entire house project is over 2B, they have also skilled, offered tools to our youth,” the area LC5 chairperson explained.
Ms Norah Akol, a beneficiary residing in Omatenga village, Kumi Sub County, said her husband abandoned her and left for Kalangala landing sites, “This offer is the best thing to have happened,”
She said, she has no more stress of looking for straw grass for thatching after being handed permanent house and sanitary facilities.
Ms Akol said prior to this, she had 2 grass thatched huts that leaked a lot, exposing her children to malaria and rats common in their village.
Ms Florence Aanyu, native of Akum village, Ongino Sub County, who has been having a single grass-thatched house with 4 children said she has been spared the burden of sharing her single grass-thatched house with 4 children.
Mr Robert Otim, country director for Habitat for humanity Uganda, said 5B is what has been allocated for the construction of houses for the vulnerable in districts of Kumi, Mayuge and areas of western Uganda.
He said a study was done by habitat for humanity and found that children whose parents have no homesteads always fail to complete school.
“The parents wander from place to place and children have no chance to settle for academics,” Mr Otim said.