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Kanyabwanga Sub-county Residents On the Verge of Starvation

Stephen Bangumya, one of the residents, says that he and his workers woke up on Sunday morning last week and found their gardens buried by the landslides. The affected villages include Kigyende 1 , Kigende 2 and the neighboring areas of Omukayaga, Rwenshama ridge that are well known for their fertile soils.
Image of the destroyed gardens in Kanyabwanga Subcounty

Audio 3

Residents of Kanyabwanga sub-county in Mitooma District are living in fear of hunger following the destruction of their crops by landslides. The most affected are residents of Kigyende1, Kigende 2 villages and the neighbouring areas of Omukayaga and Rwenshama ridge. 

These areas are known for their fertile soils, which favour the cultivation of rice, millet, sugarcane and coffee among others. Residents blame the landslide on the heavy rains that occurred between December 2021 to January 2022.

Stephen Bangumya, one of the residents, says that he and his workers woke up on Sunday morning last week and found their gardens buried by the landslides.

 

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Henry Kanywani, another resident, says that landslides are not new in Kanyabwanga sub-county. ‘’We are used to this, it's not something so new to us, I only hope the one whose gardens have been spoilt can be relocated,” he said.   

Nelson Katsigazi, the LCI Chairperson of Kigende Village, says that the landslides have left most of his electorate on the verge of starvation. 

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He wants the authorities to investigate the cause of the landslides, which keep occurring even during the dry season. Kanyabwanga is part of the Albertine graben that is part of the Western arm of the Rift Valley and has a history of land rifting.

 

Vicente Katate, the Environment Officer of Bushenyi District, says this is a natural occurrence triggered by human activities. He notes that a similar incident has since occurred in Rubirizi District, adding that residents have become adamant to relocate regardless of the repeated warnings from the authorities.

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Katate says that residents have tampered with the natural vegetation cover that is meant to hold the soil, especially on the hill.

A geosciences team led by Dr. Sarah Stamps of Virginia Tech College of Science is carrying out a student in partnership with the Ministry of energy and Mineral Development in Uganda dubbed ‘’Dry Rifting In the Albertine-Rhino Graben Uganda.’’ 

The study intends to establish the cause of the poor magma rifting taking place in the Northern Western Arm of the Rift valley where Kanyabwanga falls. Kanyabwanga is about 20km South-West of Imaramagambo forest and 18km from Kashenshero-Mitooma.