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Hundreds Sleeping in the Cold as Floods Submerge Houses in Napak

Dozens of housing units have collapsed while others are on the verge of collapsing. The displaced persons are currently living along the streets, open places and around the Kangole Catholic Church as they await government intervention. Some of the affected families are struggling to open channels for the water to flow out of their homes.
14 May 2021 08:33

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Victims of the flooding in Nasinyonoit, Kangole in Napak district are shrouded in uncertainty after  their houses, food and other household properties were washed away by flash floods on Wednesday.

At least 2,000 people from about 500 households are now homeless, spending nights in the cold; on the walkways along the Napak – Moroto Highway. Women, Children, the elderly and expectant mothers, are seen wandering on the streets, with nowhere to go as their semi-permanent houses remain waterlogged two days after flash floods hit at least six villages in Murullinga Parish.

Dozens of housing units have collapsed while others are on the verge of collapsing. The displaced persons are currently living along the streets, open places and around the Kangole Catholic Church as they await government intervention. Some of the affected families are struggling to open channels for the water to flow out of their homes.

Nancy Agen, a mother of five says she only managed to rescue her children from the flooded area but lost everything else.  She is now appealing for emergency relief services to be taken to the community in terms of food, shelter and medicines. Similarly, Michael Midi Ngorok a teacher in the neighbourhood and a resident of Nasinyon in Kangole says at least 900 people are in dire need of food and shelter.

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According to the Parish Chief, Ruth Iningo Longole, all households are equally affected by hunger, lack of shelter, poor sanitation with high chances of disease outbreak following the disaster.

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The local government says it has no capacity to help and has asked several partners to adjust their planning and provide immediate emergency support to the community. According to the Parish Chief of Iningo Longole, the most affected villages include Nasinyonoit, Kogete, Kokweta, Namukure, Nachuka and Naro- Apalotiyaro villages all in Mmorulinga Parish, the presidential residence in Karamoja.

Kangole is part of the flat and low lying areas of Napak district with little natural vegetation in the plains of Karamoja, some 23 kilometres to Moroto town. The area hosts several villages including President Yoweri Museveni’s upcountry home in Karamoja.  According to residents and area leaders, the area has never been hit by floods in history until Wednesday when the Manimani River burst its banks.

On Thursday, that Catholic Relief Services, CRS was on the ground in collaboration with the local government of Kangole carrying out an assessment on the extent of the damage and the most needed relief services. The leader for CRS Robert Obore said they were helping the government to ascertain the level of damage because the local leadership did not have capacity to do the work immediately.

“We are currently supplementing the local government efforts on data collection. The local leaders have expressed the human resource gap and we are just bridging the gap. All information shall be submitted to the Parish Chief who will forward it to higher authorities for intervention," Obore said.

Earlier the Chief Administrative Officer, said he was waiting for data from the affected Sub County to be forwarded to the Office of the Prime Minister since the district lacks the capacity to handle disasters and emergency issues of this magnitude.

The Napak district Chair, Joseph Lomonyang said the damage from the floods was enormous and government needs to send relief aid to the affected persons. The numbers of affected people are enormous and we are calling on government and partners to assist in the situation."

Currently, the community is living in fear that more heavy rains are likely to trigger more floods hence causing further displacements. Nancy Agen, one of the affected persons is urging the central government to address the flooding problem by building barriers to block flash floods from reaching settlements.

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