A body of Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF officer is among the nine that have so far been recovered following floods that swept through Mbale district in eastern Uganda leaving massive destruction and several other people are believed to be missing, with fears that the death toll could increase as services like transport and others in the area get more paralyzed.
This followed a heavy downpour that started on Saturday at 8pm until about 7am on Sunday left Namabasa, Busajabwankuba, Busamaga, Nkoma, Milo taano and Mbale industrial park where properties worth millions of shillings have been devastated by floods.
Ahamada Waashaki, the Mbale City Resident Commissioner said on Sunday that bodies of nine people have so far been recovered after Namatala, Namatsi and Nashibiso rivers burst their banks. He added that there are fears that several other people have died, especially boda boda riders and drivers of small vehicles.
According to Taitika Rogers, the Elgon region police spokesperson, four of the deceased have been identified as Tamunoza Doreen aged 24 years, Namukhula 15, Khalayi 13 and Masaba Ayub 30 while others are yet to be identified.
“The deceased are all pending postmortem examination at Mbale City Mortuary.
Police and Red Cross teams are doing their best to rescue more victims of the floods.” he says.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja who on Sunday visited the affected areas said she was sent by President Museveni to assess the situation.
“The president is aware of this disaster. We are here to assess the situation and give support where necessary and to evacuate the survivors. We are in touch with UPDF and police to send marine officers to search for the victims and bodies,” she said before blaming the disaster on environmental degradation in the area.
According to her, the residents who are destroying the environment “will bring us problem. This disaster is due to environmental degradation.”
“I believe it could have been avoided if people respected the environment,” she added. Three vehicles are also said to have plunged into river Namatala where some of the victims are reported to have died from.
Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA has also said the road network has been cut off along Mbale—Nkokonjeru and Mbale—Soroti road at Nabuyonga Bridge.
“Woke up to catastrophic effects of flooding in the Eastern part of Uganda. Our road network is equally affected; mudslides cutting off access along Mbale—Nkokonjeru rd at Km 08 to 13 & along Mbale—Soroti road at Nabuyonga Bridge. Inspections are ongoing for needed interventions,” UNRA tweeted Sunday.
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