Uganda: Floods and Landslides Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) - DREF Operation n° MDRUG042 / PUG069


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

This DREF operation aims at responding to landslides and floods, caused by heavy rainfall since the first week of June 20191 in the Mount Elgon area of Uganda. Specifically, this DREF will respond to:

  • Landslides in Bududa district, impact June 4th
  • Floods in Sironko district, impact June 4th
  • Floods in Mbale district, impact June 5th
  • Floods in Butaleja district, June 8th

The landslides in Bududa District were triggered by a heavy and continuous downpour experienced from the night of 4th June, 2019 until the morning of 5th June, 2019. The landslides hit several sub-counties with most affected being Buwali and Bukalasi/Bundesi, Bumayoka and parts of Bubiita in the lower stream being affected by flash floods. As a direct consequence of these heavy rains, a total of four (4) major landslides occurred in Bududa: one in Bumayoka subcounty, one in Bukalasi/ Bundesi and two in Buwali. The landslides caused six (6) deaths, and injuries to 27 persons (13 males & 14 females) with all still admitted at Bududa Hospital. Amongst the injured, two (2) are children under 5years (1 male and 1 female). First rapid assessments identified eighty (80) households as displaced (480 people), out of the 100 affected households and 669 people affected. Most of the displaced persons are currently living with friends and families in safer areas. More displaced families are likely to be identified as the team continues to conduct detailed assessment in remote villages that were affected but inaccessible at first. First rapid assessments were conducted 5-7 June by the branch manager and volunteers. More detailed assessments were conducted between 11-13 June 2019.

In the neighbouring Sironko District, along the Mount Elgon slope, a devastating flood incident occurred in Buyobo Sub-County on 4th of June at around 4:00am. The continuous rains that started at 2:20am and continued consecutively for hours triggered flooding from uphill, which carried a huge mass of soil down the hills into river Bugibuni, prompting it to burst its banks and causing havoc to the communities downhill. The river carried massive water, logs of huge trees, soil debris down the slope and swept off houses and crops adjacent to it. The flash floods damaged houses of 111 households, with a population of 426 persons. Fortunately, no deaths were registered. The most affected villages were those adjacent to river Bugibuni (Buyoola Parish) including Bumusi A, Bugibuni and Bunazeba, with critical impacts on their food and cash crops such as maize bananas, cassava, cock yams, beans and coffee plantation. Crops, merchandise, animals and properties worth millions of shillings were destroyed by the floodwaters. The community remains worried about a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases since most of the toilets were destroyed. The floods also affected one major trading centre in Sonoli Township where the business community registered massive losses, with business activities being disrupted. Currently, 111 households in Sironko district remain displaced, and are being hosted and taken care of by their relatives & friends in the neighbouring safer areas. A bridge connecting to Bumusi primary school was also washed away, paralyzing transport. The rest of the affected population remained within the highrisk areas without any decent shelter, safe water, food supply nor sufficient social services.