Eight dead, hundreds displaced as flash floods hit Kampala

On Sunday 26th May 2019, heavy rains hit several areas of Uganda including the Capital, Kampala. A number of areas flooded, roads cut off and a lot of property was destructed. Over eight people are believed to have lost their lives in the areas of Kikajjo, Lubowa and Lufuka all located in Masajja and Bunamwaya divisions (Kampala suburbs). Over 500 households were affected. The most affected villages include;Lubowa, Lufuka,Kazinga, Wakulekana, Buzali, MasajjaKibiraB, Lwasa bridge way triangle, Kabuma,Katongo,Kikajjo, Katwe, MakindyeSsabagabo among others.

The flash floods have had a devastating effect on the lives of people, livestock, businesses, household items and has affected human settlement. Many people have been displaced while others have had to move to neighboring villages for shelter with relatives and close friends. Schools too have been affected and this has an impact on the education of children in the affected areas.

“I lost about 300 chicken yesterday. The water was just too much and it rose so high to the level of windows, the chicken were trapped inside and starteddying one by one, there are still more dying up to now. This was my only source of income for my family.” Said Mr.Richard Kanyike 63, a resident of Lufuka zone in Bunamwaya Through the Uganda Red Cross Kampala South Branch office located in MakindyeSsaabagabo Zone, a response action team (RCATs) was dispatched, joined by local authorities and other community responders to swing in action.

“We are deeply saddened by the incident in our Kampala South branch area. We identify with the families that lost their loved ones. Uganda Red Cross will do whatever we can to mobilise resources and support the affected families. Our teams are on ground to continue with rescue and also support the evacuation process. We have deployed tents to accommodate the homeless and blankets during this time of coldness. After the assessment, we will be able to offer more support to meet the actual needs of the people. I call upon other partners to join us in this effort of saving lives of people.” Says Robert Kwesiga – Secretary General – Uganda Red Cross Society.

Many people are homeless and do not have where to sleep. 20 Emergency tents were deployed in different communities to accommodate families that were stranded. These were detached to separate men from women and children.These families were also given 100 blankets to support the families that were hit by the cold weather in the night.

Uganda Red Cross has also positioned relief items (blankets, jerry cans, soap, aqua tabs, tarpaulins, and kitchen sets among others) that will be distributed soon to support the affected families.

There are planned sensitisations on climate change effects, disaster preparedness, hygiene and sanitation as heavy rains continue amidst compromised hygiene and sanitation situations in communities. Many latrines were washed away and faecal matter flows with flooding water into people’s homes.

Children are at risk of contracting diseases like pneumonia, cholera and other viral and bacterial infections through this season as heavy rains continue.