By Ashaba Ashraf and Yasini Nyango
Elgon: The Lutsehe Constituency Member of Parliament Godfrey Watenga Nabutanyi has called on government to speed up efforts to relocate communities that are vulnerable to the frequent landslides and floods in Bugisu sub region and more especially in Bududa district.
Watenga made this call during his visit to the landslide victims of Bushika in Bududa district where he had gone to pay a tribute to the and delivered his sympathies to those that lost their property and livestock, as efforts to retrieve bodies and find over 30 missing people is still ongoing.
“I am aware that several disasters have struck the country that demand for government’s attention, but I note that the delay to relocate the more than 20,000 people living on the slopes of Mt. Elgon areas exposes them to More landslides which might lead to more deaths” he said
While on site Watenga noted that the Bududa situation has persisted for a long time revealing that the livelihood and resettlement of people in the highlands of Bududa is something which government should address with immediate effect.
He suggested that if government cannot quickly relocate the families then it should devise means of assisting them to relocate to places of their choice with immediate effect saying that this is an emergency that requires immediate response.
“The rate at which government is handling resettlement does not respond to the rate at which landslides are happening”
Over 30 people have died in different occurrences of landslides in Bududa and Sironko districts following the heavy down pour that triggered the landslides in Bugisu region on 3rd December this year.
The Legislator is now appealing to the government to consider compensating the residents in the landslide prone areas rather than constructing houses because the latter has dragged.
He also advised people living on risky and dangerous slopes of Mt Elgon to move away and seek shelter with friends and relatives in lower and safer grounds as the rains continue.
Sironko survivors cry out
Meanwhile, the landslide survivors in Sironko District are crying foul due to lack of food, shelter and beddings since they were displaced.
Over 260 survivors are currently living in the temporary shelters at Bugimagu Primary school.
Last week, the Sironko legislator Florence Nambozo supported the affected families of Zesui Subcounty with 600 kilograms of maize flour, 200 kilograms of rice and seedlings
The Simuma Parish LC2 Chairperson, Robert Mabusi, says government has neglected the displaced people.
However, the Sironko Disaster Committee Chairperson, Robert Nambadi said the Office of the Prime Minister will deliver relief items to the affected residents, soon.
Early last week, landslides hit the Sub-counties of Zesui and Masaba killing a number of people, displacing hundreds of people. Four bodies have been recovered so far.
The landslides were triggered by heavy rains, which had been pounding Bugisu Sub-region and other parts of the country.