Breaking

Districts In Rwenzori Region Start Disaster Warning Activities

Following the recent mudslides in Bududa district, disaster prone districts in the Rwenzori region are engaged in early warning activities to avert effects of possible floods and landslides.
Following the recent mudslides in Bududa district, disaster prone districts in the Rwenzori region are engaged in early warning activities to avert effects of possible floods and landslides.  

 

Districts like Kasese and Bundibugyo are prone to disasters like landslides and floods.

In Kasese, which experienced floods in May after River Nyamwamba burst its banks, the district environment team has stopped people from cultivating at the hilltops.  The district experiences floods and landslides due to the excessive tilling of the slopes of Mount Rwenzori, overgrazing, poor farming methods and a growing population.

In a telephone interview, Augustine Koli, the Senior Environmental Officer Kasese district, says that some of the people have large chunks of land, but because of the high population they decide to encroach on the slopes of Mt. Rwenzori, where some have set up semi-permanent structures and cultivate.

Koli says that the current rains being experienced in the area may affect the residents especially in the villages located in Karusandara, Kilembe and Maliba sub counties.

According to Koli, last month the Kasese district natural resources department carried out an environment assessment, which showed that 80% of the population lives in the hilly areas of Bugoye and Maliba, where they derive their livelihood from Rwenzori Mountain national park.

Koli says that after the people have vacated the hilly areas, the district plans to plant 500 hectares of trees in Bugoye and Maliba sub counties.  

In Bundibugyo district, Robert Kamuhanda, the district environment officer, says that they have started an early warning system which involves sensitizing communities on the radio about best environmental practices like reforestation and terracing, and how they should respond appropriately incase disaster strikes.

According to Kamuhanda, more than 200 households live on slopes of Musandama hills and are tempering with the soils.

Kamuhanda also says they are also training some members of the district disaster management committees (DDMCs) on how to handle disasters in case they strike. He however says the committees are insufficiently funded to carry out activities.

 After this week’s landslides in Bududa district, Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, said that government will deploy disaster risk-reduction officers in disaster-prone areas in the country. According to Ecweru, the officers will supplement the work of the district disaster committees.

This week, a source at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said that there is little being done in terms of early warning systems and disaster risk reduction. According to the source, there was no early warning to alert victims of the latest landslides in Bududa that killed one person, injured 18 others and displaced at least 2000 more.

Keywords