By Weswa Ronnie, NECJOGHA CORRESPONDENT, MBALE
KAMPALA, UGANDA: The government of Uganda under the Office of the Prime Minister early this week started the first phase of the relocation of people facing danger of being affected by the Bududa mudslides.
Government allocated 8 billion shillings to buy over 2000 acres of land at Bunambutye Sub County in Bulambuli district to resettle 720 people living in mudslide risk areas from five districts like Bududa, Bulambuli, Manafwa, Namisndwa and Sironko in Bugisu sub region.
In its plan government decided to fist construct 101 houses in which to relocate a total of 98 families from the five districts in the first phase as they plan to relocate other 120 people in the second phase after they have constructed other houses.
According to the Head of Communications at OPM, Mr. Julius Mucunguzi, in this first phase they are going to relocate 50 home from Bududa, 12 from Manafwa,12 from Bulambuli,12 from Namisindwa and 12 from Sironko. The two- bed-roomed houses, which are the first phase of a total of 900 houses have been constructed by the UPDF Engineering Brigade.
He explained that since May 19th, 2019 they have been relocating and transporting a number of family members from Bududa to Bunambutye. So far all the targeted 50 families from different sub counties in risk areas at Bududa have been relocated .
“Each house sits on an acre of land and each house hold has been given extra 2 acres for crop and animal farming. In addition to the house and farm land, Government is going to provide all the social infrastructure and services including schools, health centers, roads, water and electricity,” Mucunguzi said during the tour of the site last week.
Joseph Musube and Bosco Khisa both beneficiaries who were relocated from Bududa expressed their happiness and asked those who are living in risky areas but still insisting of being relocated to accept such that they can save their life.
However, they also asked government to give them hard cash money since it’s a new area and they need money to buy household items like salt, soap among others.
Last year, survivors of the 2010 Bududa landslide, who were relocated to Kiryandongo district, are being threatened with eviction after some people in the area claimed ownership of the land on which they had been resettled. Others were reported to have went back to Bududa citing challenges with education for their children, and health centres being far away from the communities.
RECENT LANDSLIDES IN BUDUDA
March 2010: Landslides killed about 150 people and displaced over 10,000, in Nametsi sub-county, Bududa district.
March 2011: A landslide swept the slopes of Mt. Elgon, razing three villages in Bududa district (Kubehwo, Namangasa and Nametsi) located in Bukalasi sub-county. Ninety-two bodies out of the 365 people were recovered and only 31 survivors were rescued from the three affected villages.
June 2012: Landslides occurred at Bunakasala parish, Bududa district, sweeping through four villages after a heavy downpour in the area for two days. At least nine were injured and 15 houses were buried.
August 2013: A four-year-old child, John Mangoye, the son of Stephen Waninga, a resident of Matuwa parish, was killed after a hailstorm ravaged several villages causing multiple mudslides and floods in Bushiyi sub-county in Bududa district. At least 17 other injured persons were admitted to Bududa Hospital, while an unspecified number mostly children, the elderly and disabled were unaccounted for and feared dead.