Nametsi village, the scene of last year’s devastating landslide that killed more than 200 people in Bududa district is once again bustling with life.
Some of the families which were displaced by the landslide have since returned and resettled at the spot where the mudslide struck last year. The village which a year ago was deserted is now bustling with human activities like farming and business.
A first time visitor to the place will take long to believe that it was in the same village where people, animals and crops were buried.
Francis Mulakama, the LC1 Chairperson of Nametsi village says that people who were displaced have since returned and constructed homes at the very spot of the March 2010 disaster.
Mulakama explains that life in the area has since gone back to normal as people are busy carrying on with their daily activities like farming which has resulted in bumper harvest. He says the residents have harvested onions, bananas and coffee.
Mulakama says people have constructed close to where the landslide swept through and only left the place where soils were completely washed away.
Part of the area, which last year was like a freshly dug field, is now used for grazing animals.
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Mulakama explains that the place experiences a beehive of activities especially on Saturdays during the market day when traders from different areas come to Nametsi to buy farm produce.
The residents are however experiencing problems with accessing health and education services.
Several children who are of school going age are stranded at home because there’s no primary school in the whole parish. Two primary schools-Tunatsi and Nametsi were closed after the landslide.
Children from the area now travel 14 kilometers to access education from schools in Bukalasi Sub-county.
Mulakama appeals to government to reopen the two primary schools. He also wants government to construct a health unit in the area since the only health center there was buried by the landslide.
But David Wanyanya, another of the returnees says that most people still feel insecure in the place but they have no alternative place to resettle in. Wanyanya claims that government abandoned the people who are facing the risk and instead relocated people to Kiryandongo district.
Wanyanya says that some landless people took advantage and paid local council officials in Bududa in order to be included on the list of people to be relocated to Kiryandongo. He says the move forced them to go back and construct homes where the landslide struck.
Meanwhile, some people who relocated to Kiryandongo have also returned and resettled in their homes.
Nathan Kakalata, one of the returnees says he was forced to return after finding the cost of living high in Kiryandongo. He says that he is currently harvesting coffee and onions.
Julius Walyambaka, another resident claims he left Kiryandongo after falling sick for a longtime because he was not used to the weather there.