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Heavy Rains Leave Over 100 Residents Homeless in Bukomansimbi

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1 Heavy Rains Leave Over 100 Residents Homeless in Bukomansimbi

By Gad Masereka

Following the heavy rainfall on Thursday night, more than 100 residents from five communities inside the Bukomansimbi District are now left homeless after rain and heavy winds swept away their houses and the food they had in the gardens. Villages like Kyanakibi, Kabulunga, Kyango, Bukomansimbi Town Council, and Gayaza are among those that are affected.

According to the locals, the rain started at 9:00 p.m. and lasted for approximately 20 minutes, wreaking havoc on the communities. The heavy rains not only lifted the roofs of homes but also destroyed plantations.

As the affected residents grapple with the aftermath of this disaster, local authorities are calling upon the government to provide immediate assistance and relief to those in need.

This comes few days after the government of Uganda through the ministry of Environment published a forecast for above-average rainfall in September.

The Prime Minister’s Office set aside a contingency fund of Shs120 billion to deal with any natural calamities that may occur during the rainy season.

While addressing the media at the Uganda media center, Minister Beatrice Atim Anywar, the Minister of State for Environment noted that the fund, which is subjected to cabinet for approval, seeks to lessen the effects of nationwide natural disasters like flooding, landslides, and disease outbreaks.

Anywar also added that September to December is the second main rainy season in the majority of parts of Uganda and the that rainfall is predicted to exceed normal levels in numerous regions.

In light of this, she explained, “the total rainfall in these regions is projected to be above 125% of the long-term mean, indicating a significant impact on socio-economic activities, albeit mostly to a modest degree above the average.”

She also emphasized the importance of taking quick, suitable action based on this forecasting in order to make the most of the available data.

She urged all parties involved in rain-fed economic activity to make use of this rainfall prognosis when making plans and decisions so as to enhance the economic welfare and standard of living in their local communities.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority will keep track of weather patterns and provide users with frequent updates and alerts. Anywar urged consumers to utilize the daily, weekly, and monthly updates that were offered.

It is significant to note that as the season develops, there may be regional and month-to-month differences.

Certain places may occasionally have flash floods that cause property damage and fatalities.

Landslides can also happen in hilly areas of western and southwest Uganda, including Bundibudyo, Kasese, Kabale, Rubanda, Kisoro, Bududa, Bulambuli, and other districts around Mt. Elgon. Additional dangers include lightning and strong gusts.

The minister emphasized the importance of putting in place the necessary precautions to prevent human casualties and damage to infrastructure, such as moving residents of low-lying districts to higher ground, building flood-proof homes, and creating suitable drainage systems.

The minister went ahead and demanded the construction of lightning conductors or arrestors on all structures to reduce the risks associated with lightning. Teachers were advised to make sure that students did not play outside or hide under trees during light drizzles before thunderstorms. Communities should be made more aware of the need to use rubber shoes and stay away from metallic things.

Water levels in rivers, lakes, and dams are predicted to rise as a result of the forecast precipitation. Minister Anywar counseled the energy industry to make plans for the most efficient power production and distribution. The use of trenches, soil bunds, terracing, and mulching are examples of soil and water conservation techniques that should be promoted to prevent excessive soil erosion and downstream floods.

Localized flooding may occur as a result of sporadic, strong rainfall events, especially in Kampala’s city and metropolitan districts. In order to respond to epidemics of diseases like malaria, cholera, bilharzia, and typhoid linked to heavy rains, as well as respiratory illnesses like asthma brought on by humid conditions and allergies from flowering plants, increased disease surveillance is required.

Health authorities are urged to maintain their vigilance and make sure hospitals have the medications they need to handle any potential emergencies brought on by these diseases.

The minister reaffirmed that the second significant rainy season in Uganda runs from September to December.

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The development of El Nio conditions in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, which are expected to last through the conclusion of the forecast period, is one factor that will affect the climate conditions during this forecast period (September to December 2023).

Along with the effects of local circulation patterns, geographical factors, and significant inland water bodies, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is anticipated to turn positive at this time.

The ministry has set up the El Nino contingent funds, which will help in addressing and responding to various catastrophes, according to Solomon Elungat, the senior disaster preparedness officer at the Office of the Prime Minister.

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