Africa roll- Uganda: A huge crack in the ground in the mountain area of Bududa

July 13, 2012

A man looks at a huge crack in the ground in the mountain area of Bududa

By Daniel Edyegu

A total of eight people were buried during the devastating landslide at Bunakasala parish in Bududa district last month, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) has stated in a new report.

The report identifies the deceased persons as Patrick Bwaya, 44, Jessica Wandeka, 35, Zaina Wandeka, 4, Fred Wangoko, 10,Esau Namugoye, 6, Fred Washiwuku, 4, Night Kimono, 30, and Kevin Wandeba.

 In an earlier report given by Michael Nataka, the URCS secretary general, the relief body had stated that 18 people had perished in the disaster.

The latest report, issued after a series of tracing activities with the affected communities and survivors, also established that 735 people in the disaster-stricken parish had fled their homes due to the emergence of cracks while 3,368 people in the neighbouring villages in Mabayaam, Bunamulembwa, Walwayi and Bumakakha were at high risk.

“The initial report that indicated that 18 people perished in the landslide was what we quickly gathered from survivors and communities in the wake of the landslide,” said Jack Tumwa, the URCS focal person for Bududa district.

“However, when we went on tracing missing persons, we established that only eight were missing. Other persons earlier suspected to have perished in the tragedy have also kept on surfacing,”

Various estimate figures of people buried in the landslide cropped up at the start of the tragedy.

As the disaster preparedness ministry placed the death toll at 109, Bududa district stated that 41 people died in the landslide while other civil society organizations placed the figure at 70.

One source said whereas the survivors initially interviewed gave genuine figures, they were later tipped to inflate the numbers in order to attract more relief.

That the earth moving equipment have recovered only four bodies in the ongoing excavation that started on June 30 lends credence to the latest URCS report that places the number of the dead at eight.

John Baptist Namebshe, the Bududa district LC5 chairperson explained that host families accommodating survivors of the landslide are currently facing difficulty fending for large families.

Nambeshe explained that on top of Bulucheke sub-county being among those facing population explosion with families having between five to eight members, the additional weight from survivors is adding a strain on host families.

“A family, for instance, that initially had eight members has an additional seven or more added to it. That implies necessity for more food, drugs and accommodation space, yet these social amenities are inadequate among our local communities,” Nambeshe said.

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