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Delays to Relocate Mt. Elgon Landslide Victims Irk Leaders

Hilary Onek, the Disaster Preparedness Minister says government is aware of the urgent need to relocate the affected household, adding that it is doing everything to ensure they are resettled in a safer place.

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The delayed relocation of people living in landslide prone areas around Mt Elgon Region has irked local leaders. They want government to expedite the process before disaster strikes again.

 

John Baptist Nambeshe, the Manjiya county Member of Parliament in Bududa accuses government of negligence. He argues that the crack that runs across Mt Elgon continues to deepen as government is watching exposing the lives of more than 30, 000 residents to great risk.

He says rains that have continued pounded the area for the past week. Nambeshe who describes the situation as an emergency wants to table the matter before parliament compel to government to expedite the relocation and resettlement process.

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Simon Peter Wananzofu, the Bulambuli District LC V chairman is worried that the ongoing rains may cause more havoc if government doesn't hurry and relocate people. He says a total of about 25, 000 households from Bulumabuli will be relocated.

Wananzofu says since government secured 28, 000 acres of land for the relocation in Bunambutye in Bulambuli district last year, nothing much has been done. He suggests that government establishes temporary structures to accommodate the affected household as they wait for funds to put up decent and modern structures.

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James Mulwe, a resident of Munimani village in Namusini Sub County in Bulambuli which is found on the ridges of Mt Elgon says they have lost hope.  He says they have waited in vain since government announced plans to relocate them in 2012.

 

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Hilary Onek, the Disaster Preparedness Minister says government is aware of the urgent need to relocate the affected household, adding that it is doing everything to ensure they are resettled in a safer place.

Onek says they intend to resettle 800 families in the first phase before the forecasted landslides reoccur. He said that the ground team is working in ensuring that land is divided for each family to acquire two acres for resettlement and cultivation.

Recently, geo-technical expects led by Dr. Yazi Bamutaze, revealed that the ground around the mudslide scars was still moving and that another mudslide could occur. In 2012, government announced a plan to relocate about 30, 000 families living in the risky areas of Mt Elgon Region. A total of 39 Billion shillings was then earmarked for the exercise.

Mt Elgon region has experienced serious landslides in the past years with Bududa district mostly affected. The main ones were in March 2010 in Bulucheke and Nametsi areas that is said to have killed at least 300 people.

On 2nd March 2011, another landslide swept the slopes of Mt. Elgon erasing three villages of Kubehwo, Namangasa and Nametsi located in Bukalasi sub-county in Bududa. 92 bodies out of the 365 people believed to have been killed were recovered and 31 survivors rescued.

On 25th June 2012 another landslide occurred at Bunakasala parish, Bududa district sweeping through four villages following a two day's down pour. Eight people were killed and nine others were injured.

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