Leaders, Lake Albert floods victims appeal for government help

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Some houses inundated by Lake Albert floods at Wanseko landing site in Kigwera Sub-county, Buliisa District.

As Lake Albert floods continue wreaking havoc on the Albertine Graben, leaders and the affected Lakers urge government to take rescue action.

The overflowing water of the lake has left several people in the graben frustrated after losing their property and without a roof over their head in Buliisa, Hoima, Kikuube and Kagadi districts, and Ntoroko district in Bunyoro and Rwenzururu sub-regions respectively.

Following the mishap, the Chairperson Bunyoro Parliamentary Caucus, Mr Stephen Biraahwa Mukitale, wants documentation of the current flooding of the lake that he says will help find a lasting solution to the natural disaster.

The legislator who hails from Buliisa, one of the Lake Albert flood affected districts in Bunyoro says the water overflow is an episode of the 1962 calamity that should have attracted researchers’ interest to document.

However, he wonders that the matter is being ignored; believing that this could be the reason for lack of a permanent answer to the incident.

Audio: Mukitale on floods (English)

Many a month, the rising volume of the water continues to submerge several abodes, social service infrastructures, destroying farms and causing deaths with Butyaba and Kigwera sub-counties in Buliisa district particularly hit hard.

More than 500 homesteads at 14 landing sites in Butyaba sub-county have so far sunk in the water including Kawaibanda, Butyaba, Boma, Kigangaizi, Walukuba, Tugombili and Bugoigo.

Others are Kamagongoro, Kigungu, Serule, Piida, Waisoki, Triangle and Magali.

Some people, who were compensated by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), constructed permanent buildings which have now been inundated by the floods at Wanseko landing site in Kigwera sub-county, Buliisa district.

Ms Yasmin Majid, a restaurant operator at Wanseko landing site says she is no longer working since her commercial building that habours a restaurant has been flooded by the increasing water level of Lake Albert.

She built the house after UNRA compensated her.

Now Ms Majid urges government to intervene since the lake has burst its shores far beyond their expectations.

Audio: Majid on floods (Kiswahili)
Business woman, Ms Yasmin Majid, stands in front of her submerged house at Wanseko landing site in Kigwera Sub-county, Buliisa District.

Ms Susan Evans, the Uganda Red Cross Society Masindi Branch Manager, says the organisation is assessing the effects the floods have caused so that the affected communities can be provided some relief items in addition to constructing them communal latrines.

Audio: Susan on floods (Runyoro/Rutooro)

In Ntoroko, flood victims and environmental experts are appealing to the government to assist those adversely affected by floods in Kanaara sub-county and nearby places.

This as they struggle to relocate to safety as floods consume more dry land day by day endangering lives and livestock.

Mr Julius Muhindo, a resident of Kanara sub-county says floods victims have so far been relocated several times as the water level continues rising and displacing them.

Audio: Muhindo on floods (English)

The Ntoroko district councillor for Kanara sub-county, Mr Friday Mugisa, faults government for failing to come to the victims’ rescue wondering that even legislators have never tabled the matter on the floor of parliament as floods continue ravaging the area.

Audio: Mugisa on floods (English)

Mr Felix Basiime, an environmental journalist says the floods are proving a menace to the residents since the water is overflowing farther.

Audio: Basiime on floods (English)

In response, Mr Jaconius Musingwire, the National Environment ManagementAuthority(NEMA) manager western region predicted that the water of Lake Albert will continue swelling up to where it originally was adding that the only option is for the displaced people to continue being resettled.

Audio: Musingwire on floods (English)

Additional reporting by Kazi-njema News reporter

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