By Ahura Mujuni Mark
In 2010 Uganda witnessed a terrible landslide in Bududa district eastern Uganda where 100 people were believed to have been killed and over 85 homes in areas of Nameti, Kubewo and Nankobe destroyed.
Small accidents have been occurring injuring locals on a small scale until last week when another tragedy struck hard again and four four villages in Bulucheke Sub County Bududa District were buried by soils .Such occurrences were rare before the population around Mt Elgon increased as it currently with many people cultivating around the fertile soils in the area.
The government’s plan of transferring locals who are in the mudslide prone areas have been faced with a lot of conflict with legislators from the Eastern region claiming that government has no money and land to transfer the victims to safe areas while government says people in those areas are reluctant to leave their motherland to new areas.
Earlier reports also indicated that some of the people who were transferred to Kiryandongo district after the 2010 disaster have been slowly coming back to Bududa claiming that land in Kiryandongo is not as fertile as one in their area.Though it is hard for government to force people to leave their areas to safe places ,government should take a firm decision to see that mudslide prone areas are not overpopulated since experts have attributed the recent mudslides in the area to overpopulation in those regions.
In overpopulated places ,there have been immense deforestation where trees holding soil on mountain sides have been cut down .This has left all these places danger zones where mudslides can occur anytime .
Over cultivation in this area by the large populations have made the soils to get drenched after heavy rain .It is washed away because of the remaining vegetation’s failure to absorb or let the water flow the natural way and hold the soil together.
The Ugandan government should this time not subject its plan of forcibly removing people settling on the steep slopes of Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda to the people’s will.Tough actions should be implemented to see that people who are crowded in these mudslide vulnerable areas in Uganda are moved to safe areas to prevent more death.