Uganda: Bududa landslides: One month down the road, what has been done?

from Uganda Red Cross
Published on 01 Apr 2010 View Original
Emergency Operations Update: It is one month since the landslides covered three villages in Bududa, killing about 350 people. All these are believed to be covered under the rubble. To date, the rescue team comprising of the UPDF and Uganda Red Cross Society has recovered 96 bodies. 46 people have since been rescued. 17 of the survivors are still hospitalised.

As rains continue in Eastern Uganda, the situation remains fragile and more people are to be affected by floods and landslides, according to assessment reports by the Uganda Red Cross Society.

The new cracks on Mt. Elgon in Manafwa and Bududa districts are threatening lives of 8, 586 people. These affected people need to be relocated immediately, according to URCS Secretary General Michael Richard Nataka. The affected sub counties are Mukoto (3, 252 people), Bukoho (2, 088 people), Buputo (2, 358 people) and Bumbo (888 people).

The Manafwa district disaster management committee at its March 31, 2010 meeting resolved that sensitization of communities about the threatening danger continues to enable them vacate their homes. URCS has joined the sensitization process in this regard.

The current situation in Manafwa has prompted the government and stakeholders to declare the affected areas a risk area therefore unfit for human settlement. Two sites, Magale town board ground and Namisigwa technical college in Manafwa have been identified by the district to relocate the affected community.

The URCS has pre-positioned 100 essential households at its branch offices in Bubulo to be distributed to the displaced persons of Manafwa.

In Bukwo, URCS assessments indicate that 970 people (194 households) have been reported displaced and therefore require urgent humanitarian assistance.

While addressing a media conference on the situation on ground on April 1, 2010 at the URCS Headquarters in Kampala, Nataka said with the current rains, more humanitarian interventions are needed to save lives of these now vulnerable people. He explained that URCS has distributed essential household items to 46, 789 people in Mbale, Butalejja, Tororo and Bududa. Each household kit contains; 1 tarpaulins, 2 sauce pans, 5 cups, 5 plates, 2 jerry cans, 3 bars of soap, 2 mosquito nets and 2 blankets.

The Uganda Red Cross Society is working with the Office of the Prime minister, district local governments in Bududa, Butalejja, Manafwa and other agencies to try and end the suffering of the affected people.

In Bududa, Nataka said URCS continues to manage the Bulucheke camp in Bududa which now accommodates 3, 746 people, 1, 718 of them male and 2, 028 women. The camp has 2, 118 children aged between 0-12 years.

The organisation is managing the distribution of food, essential household items and any other relief from other agencies like Office of the Prime Minister, WFP, UNICEF, Save the Children among others.

Other assorted items like woolen blankets, knickers, Vaseline, movit soap, toothpaste & toilet papers were distributed to expectant mothers & children under 5 years in Bulucheke camp.

In Bukalasi sub county Bududa district, 717 people have been registered. Those who lost relatives are 180. This brings the total beneficiary in Bukalasi temporary camp to 228 households with a population of 897.

A population of 1,111 more people have been registered as those who remained behind in Namasheti parish (5 villages) and need to be considered for humanitarian support, Nataka said.

As a way of providing shelter to the displaced people in Bulucheke camp, URCS has distributed tarpaulins to 3, 288 and 50 family tents. URCS has also provided 200 lamps for lighting in Bulucheke camp.

The Head of Operations Dr. Bildard Baguma told journalists that URCS in partnership with OXFAM and BUCADEF supported the construction of 55 pit latrines, 30 bathing shelters, rubbish pits, 2 kitchen, hand washing facilities, & drainage channels in Bulucheke camp.

He added that community hygiene promotion activities are ongoing in the camp to avert new possible outbreak of diarrhea related diseases.

A URCS ambulance is stationed 24 hours standby in Bulucheke camp to facilitate referrals especially for the expectant mothers, some of whom go in labour at night.

In Butalejja district, four Sub-Counties namely Kachonga Mazimasa Kimuntu and Nawangofu have been affected by the floods; Kachonga and Mazimasa being the most affected. 4, 778 people affected by floods in Butalejja have received tarpaulins from URCS.

Dr. Baguma who is also the Deputy Secretary General said that health education has so far been conducted to over 20, 000 people in Butaleja and Mbale district. The focus is mainly on malaria, cholera, dysentery, respiratory infections, HIV/AIDs in Bududa, Butalejja and Manafwa.

The URCS is also supporting the health care service delivery in Bududa hospital, Bulugui & Bulucheke health centres with assorted medical supplies.

In Tororo district, Paya Sub County was also severely affected by heavy rains causing damage to crops and buildings.

In the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kabarole, Kisoro, Kabale-Western Uganda, URCS has distributed essential household items to 1, 300 households.

The current major needs for Eastern Uganda operation

More 700 family tents to decongest the large tents in Bulucheke camp.

More resources to support the displaced persons and new arrivals in Manafwa.

Nutrition food for children under 5 and other extremely vulnerable people.

Mama kit for expectant mothers who give birth in the camp

In Butalejja district, there is urgent need for recovery especially in the areas of water and sanitation needs, community health, food security and shelter.

Additional sanitation facilities (pit latrines, bathing shelters) in Bulucheke camp

Psychosocial support for the affected individuals

Sanitary materials for women

The Uganda Red Cross Society continues to appeal to the public to contribute towards its revised sh5b from sh2b. The National Society is grateful to all those that have contributed in cash and in kind to this noble cause. So far sh2.2b has been in cash while over sh500m has been raised in kind.


For details, please contact

Catherine Ntabadde


Tel: 0312-260615/6/7, 0776-312015


Michael Richard Nataka



Dr. Bildard Baguma