The memory of a home inside Lake Albert

Ms Jennifer Atimango points at her non-existent home at Sebagoro landing site in Kabwoya Sub-county, Kikuube District as water level continues threatening more families on Lake Albert.

Traversing landing sites on the Uganda side of Lake Albert, one sees and hears numerous sad and terrible experiences.

Women and children share stories that would unsettle and move anybody with a humanitarian mindset.

Ms Jennifer Atimango, a mother six, is among dozens of single mothers perplexed with child upbringing responsibilities amid the major challenges of floods and COVID-19 controlling effects to socio-economic activities.

“My house was there after that tree. It was a home on a dry land. The lake started bursting its shores, approached our house and consequently we had to vacate,” narrates Ms Atimango.

The family never went far hoping that the situation would normalise soon only to see four months pass and being forced to vacate together with their friend neighbours who had hosted them before the level of the water increased further.

This experience at Sebagoro landing site of Lake Albert in Kabwoya sub-county, Kikuube district is not far different from what other Lakers are facing on Lakes Kyoga and Victoria, the entire Nile valley and the Rwenzori region.

This is a new experience to all those born after 1964 when Uganda last had the highest level of water on its water bodies.

The ministry of water and environment warns the water level might not tremendously reduce until past April rains.

Mr Vincent Alpha Opio, the Kikuube district councillor representing Kabwoya sub-county says locals are getting used to floods and there is no risk of drowning but the key challenge is the desire for relief aid and a comprehensive plan to respond to this natural disaster.

Mr Opio has told Kazi-njema News that his request to the Office of the Prime Minister has been humanitarian aid in form of shelter and food but also have a comprehensive resettlement plan for thousands of people being affected by floods since nobody knows when the problem will end.

Mr Michael Busiinge, a human rights defender, calls upon the government to look at floods like any other humanitarian disaster, appealing for help from the international community.

He guesses the political temperature all over the country had denied attention to this life and livelihood threatening issue.

The flood victims at this landing site claim to have not seen organised support from the government save for individual politicians who also target their allies.

However, in Buliisa and Hoima districts, some mosquito nets and some food items from the Office of the Prime Minister were delivered at the start of the floods, according to the Kigorobya County Member of Parliament, Mr David Karubanga, who also doubles as State Minister for Public Service.

He continues to promise support and resettlement plan but floods are faster than government response.


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