Uganda

Over 1,000 Kapelebyong residents displaced by waterlogging: A total of 3,845 gardens of crops especially cassava, groundnuts and sweet potatoes have been damaged

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More than 1,300 households have been displaced by waterlogging in Amero parish in Acowa sub-county, Kapelebyong district.

This was after over 1,500 of the residents' houses were destroyed by waterlogging in the eight villages of Ikobatum, Achanga, Ajesai, Obu-Aiteng, Moru-Isiru, Kokorio, Rogom and Oitu-Osasa.

John Peter Eceru, the sub-county disaster point person said a total of 3,845 gardens of crops especially cassava, groundnuts and sweet potatoes have been damaged.

Eceru who doubles as the assistant agricultural officer in Acowa, said the parishes of Akum and Angerepo were yet to submit their data to the sub-county.

According to the report written to the Chief Administrative Officer by the sub-county disaster office on October 15th, the displaced people had moved to take refuge in the nearby primary schools and trading centres.

He noted that the destruction of houses and acreages of crops has left the affected people miserable.

The urgent support needed for the population includes tents for housing, tarpaulins for drying crops, mosquito nets, blankets for coverage, jerrycans, assorted seeds for planting next season, as well as medicine for treating people and water purifiers.

Francis Akorikin, the district LC5 chairperson said the road network has also worsened especially from Acowa-Ikobatum, Acowa-Acinga, Amatheniko-Okoboi and Amatheniko-Okungur, Amoni-Alito via Okerai.

Akorikin said several pit latrines have also collapsed and faeces are oozing out and they fear the outbreak of water-borne diseases if the matter is not handled by the central government.

According to him, the rain returned in September 2021 after the area went about four months without it.

He said the lower local government officers are collecting data to be forwarded to the Office of the Prime Minister and other development organisations for quick response.

Joseph Okwii Oria, an elder who served as the LC3 chairperson for Acowa sub-county for 25 years but retired in 2019, said Amero parish is always affected by waterlogging because it is located in a low lying area and the soils are clay.

Okwii said he has for many years advised the locals in the affected areas to open drainages around their homes and gardens but some people don’t follow his advice.

David Okiror one of the affected residents said he lost his garden of cassava and four houses to waterlogging something that has forced him to be sleeping in Acanga trading Centre.

According to Okiror, some of his colleagues reside in their relative’s places on the raised ground while others are renting houses in the trading centres. Emmanuel Odonyang, the village chairperson Ikobatum said some elders and sick people who are unable to move are laying grass on the wet house to sleep on.

He is predicting a shortage of food in the near future because most of the crops have been submerged by water.

Julius Mucunguzi, the Office of the Prime Minister spokesperson on Monday said he was yet to contact the people in disaster management before giving his comment.