The government of Uganda has today issued new rules to be seriously observed by citizens living in areas highly prone to floods and landslides, in order to combat potential disasters.
The move is intended to curtail the terrible loss of lives and wanton destruction of property amid relentless and heavy rain downpour in this erratic and high rainfall season.
The fresh rules are also tailored towards curtailing the rapid spread of stagnant water linked diseases like Malaria due to a high breeding rate of mosquitoes, cholera, typhoid, in addition to the need to curb road accidents and transportation sabotage in different areas.
According to these procedures which have been endorsed by the permanent secretary in the office of the Prime Minister Keith Muhakanizi, government instructed local council, municipal and city leaders, to seriously work on rehabilitating tunnels for running water and sewage to avoid disease spread among people, timely garbage collection and aiding locals to vacate their homes in high risk districts.
Government also advised parents to accompany their children as they are going to school, in areas experiencing abnormal rainfall.
Important still, citizens were also cautioned to be on high alert and report any cases of landslides, look out for rising water levels in different surrounding water streams, avoid overspeeding on roads, and also stay away from places cutoff by floods.
According to Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), districts like Kampala, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Butebo, Butaleja, Rubanda, Teso sub-region, Elgon sub-region and Elegu border in Amuru district, are at an extremely high risk of erratic floods, landslides and mudslides in the months of September, October and November.
The Spokesperson for the office of the Prime Minister Julius Mucunguzi said that government has gone an extra mile of supplying a toll free line on which people are supposed to contact authorities for rapid response, in case of unexpected occurances and natural catastrophes.
“Mr Keith Muhakanizi endorsed a document warning and clarifying how weather will be from September, October and in the coming months, warning people in landslides high risk areas to vacate their homes to avoid any possible disasters, in case water tunnels and rivers overflow, causing serious danger,” explained Mucunguzi, and added;
“Most citizens in those areas were alerted together with their leaders. Those areas are highly likely to experience abnormal rainfall and residents are advised to immediately leave their houses to save their own lives,”
Spokesperson for Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) Irene Nakasiita confirmed the destruction of eight houses in saka village, bumasobo sub-county, in Bulambuli district by sweeping floods in the past days.
In Kasese, district officials ordered residents in five villages near the banks of River Nyamwamba to vacate their homes, following reports that water levels had risen, an incident blamed on heavy and abnormal rains.
The villages affected include Kasika, mukathi, Kigolo, kabughabugha and Kalingata. There are also worries that areas which neighbor those villages might also face tragedy.
It should of course be remembered that eighteen people perished last week and others sustained serious injuries as a result of floods and land slides in Kasese. Crops and other crucial infrastructure were devastated beyond repair.
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