Rwenzori MPs distraught by delayed Govt response to Kasese floods

Destruction caused by River Nyamwamba in Kilembe
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KAMPALA — Members of Parliament from the Rwenzori sub-region are disturbed by government’s delay in responding to the floods and mudslides that hit Kasese district a fortnight ago, displacing many and claiming lives.

At the beginning of May, three rivers in Kasese district burst their banks leading to the floods that have devastated residents.

Legislators during the Thursday, 21 May 2020 plenary sitting expressed anguish when the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, announced that government had not yet drawn a comprehensive plan to rescue victims of the floods.

“It cannot be business as usual, in Bukonzo West, five people were covered by floods, 14 people were swept away and we do not know what the weather has again for our people. We want a comprehensive action plan from the government,” said Bukonzo West MP Atkins Katusabe.

On his part, Busongora North MP William Nzoghu told Parliament, chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga that the situation in his constituency was “bothersome” as many people have not only been displaced from their homes but are unable to access basic services.

“There are more than 10 camps hosting displaced people, several areas have been cut off and they cannot access a health facility and even food. So, why is this situation being treated as a normal occurrence?” Nzoghu asked.

Parliament also learnt that 50 households living on the border with DR Congo are at loggerheads with their Congolese neighbours when River Lamya changed its course, leaving them on the side of DR Congo.

“The Congolese believe that the river is the boundary separating them from Uganda but the river changed its course. Now they cannot allow Ugandan citizens to access their gardens and so they are all staying in a primary school,” said the Bwamba County MP, Richard Gafabusa.

In response, Dr. Rugunda assured MPs that despite the absence of a statement on the response plan, government was on course and abreast with happenings in Kasese and Bundibugo districts.

“Yesterday, the President and some ministers visited Kasese and they know what is happening. In the immediate, relief in terms of food was made available,” said Rugunda before committing to make a comprehensive statement to the House on the situation in Kasese when it next resumes on Tuesday, May 22, 2020.

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