By Ahura Mujuni Mark
Government has issued an alert over the occurrence of landslides in 19 districts across the country. The Minister for Disaster Preparedness Hon. Malinga Stephen predicts that over 400,000 people may be displaced in the Mt. Elgon and Mt. Ruwenzori regions.
“Considering the fact that rains are intensifying, we are certain there will be more landslides and more displacements”, he told legislators yesterday
In a statement to Parliament on the Bududa landslides that claimed the lives of 18 people, Minister Malinga pointed at the likelihood of other fatalities given that the landslide washed away a road linking the four villages affected by the landslide.
According to preliminary technical assessment reports, the Bududa landslide buried 15 homes and 70 houses neighboring the epicenter of the landslide had been labeled too risky for human habitation. Over 200 residents have been advised to shift to safer locations.
The Disaster Preparedness Minister confirmed that although there was no hope of finding any more survivors in the rubble, recovery of bodies will be undertaken as humanitarian aid is channeled to the victims.
He announced plans by government to purchase land for resettling of victims of landslides to safer places. Ten thousand will be relocated from mountainous areas every year according to Minister Malinga.
He appealed to legislators and other political leaders from the affected areas to encourage people living in the high risk areas to move to safe grounds away from the mountains.