On Tuesday, June 4th, 2019, heavy rain showers hit several areas of Uganda. In Bududa (eastern Uganda), the rains lasted through the night until the next morning. This heavy downpour left over 400 people affected in the sub-counties of Buwaali, Bukalasi, Bundesi, Bumayoka, and Bubiita.
Wamandu Paul, the Bunabumali Chairman says, “We heard an explosion and our neighbors making an alarm. Then we saw the water coming and we ran for our lives. My wife got hurt in the process and she is in the hospital.”
Other families were not so lucky. Nasoswe Fobia, a 45-year-old father of eight, lost his thirteen-year-old daughter, who was asleep when the landslide happened. Devastated he explains, “I took the young ones to safety and coming back for Mary to find the soil has already buried her alive along with everything we own.”
30-year-old Wamara John Richard who lost his 5-year-old daughter and 13-year-old sister says, “The water came out of nowhere. One minute they were dry, the next water and mud came rushing through the house. We were pushed down the hill along with the house that also moved. My wife and our eight-month-old daughter survived but the rest of the family perished”
On June 12th, 2019, Uganda Red Cross in partnership with MTN Uganda, mobilized relief support for the most affected families. Each family received a specialized household kit comprising of 2 cooking pots, 2 Jerry cans, 6 cups, 6 plates, 1 Knife, 1 Ladle, 3 blankets, 3 bars of laundry soap, 1 tarpaulin, 3 Mosquito Nets (LLITN). This basic relief was to enable families to cope as the Government efforts of relocation take shape.
Mr. Kyomukama, representing the CEO of MTN Uganda says, “We stand with the communities and support them in these trying times. These communities are the ones that have been there to support our network for the last 20 years.”
Godfrey Watenga, the Member of Parliament of Lutseshe praised the Uganda Red Cross Society for their timely response. He says, “I am grateful for the support given to my people in the emergency situation with NFI that helped them start over. We hope other companies will come through to support my people because many are affected by this disaster.”
Justine Khainza, the Woman Member of Parliament of Bududa district, appreciated the Uganda Red Cross Society for sensitizing the people of Bududa about the signs of the heavy rains saying, “This initiative has helped save more lives compared to the past because now people in our communities can tell when these landslides are about to occur.”
Uganda Red Cross Society teams continue to offer psychosocial support services to those affected. Community engagement through climate change messages also continue, as the Uganda Metrological Centre has projected rains to continue through the month of July.