Many people in parts of Western and Southern Uganda faced severe flood conditions as a result of a result of heavy rainfall that began on 13 April 2016. Further heavy rainfall on 17 April has hit flood-affected areas in the west, in particular Kasese, once again.
In Kampala and its suburbs, houses were inundated by flood waters forcing people to evacuate to higher grounds for safety. Some of the buildings were reported to have collapsed. Flooding rendered roads impassable. According to the Uganda Radio Network (URN), floods on Wednesday, 13 April, affected several suburbs including Kyebando, Bwaise, Kamwokya, Mulago and Kalerwe. There were also some reports of flooded farmland and damaged crops.
Over the years Kampala and areas around Lake Victoria have experienced severe floods. In September 2013 for example, the streets of numerous suburbs were badly affected.
The locals of these suburbs believe these floods, which occur on a regular basis, are very much man made and mostly caused by building and development on flood plains and swamp areas. Flooding like this occurs on a regular basis in Kampala – mostly in the suburbs – during the rainy season. Two people died in floods in September 2011. Further floods occurred in November that year, as discussed in this report from Uganda’s New Vision.
Kasese, Western Region
In Kasese district, in the Western Region of Uganda, heavy rainfall was recorded on Tuesday 12 April, 2016, causing the River Mubuka to overflow and displacing more than 1000 people living in Kanamba and Kabaka parishes in Karusandara sub-county.
The locals in these areas were aided by the Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) to set up temporary camps to house them. Kasese district was also hard hit by floods in 2013 and 2014. Reports from residents indicate that there has been little effort made in repairing flood damage and increasing resilience to future flood events.
Further heavy rainfall was recorded in Kasese over the last 24 hours, resulting in more flooding which has destroyed roads, bridges, classrooms and farms in various parts of the district, according to local media.
Rainfall and Forecasts
Rainfall for 24 hour periods
16 April – Kampala 44.0 mm
14 April – Soroti 48.0 mm, Entebbe Airport 78.0 mm
13 April, Kampala 46.0 mm
The March-May seasonal weather forecast and outlook by the Uganda Meteorological Agency indicated an enhanced precipitation in the month of April.
The Tuesday EUMETSAT satellite images revealed existence of cumulonimbus clouds that concentrated in most parts of Uganda and Eastern Congo.
According to the ten day forecast issued by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), heavy rainfall between 12 April 21 April is expected to affect the lake Victoria region.
The IGAD forecast correlates well with the one issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center African Desk.
Featured photo: Floods in Ntoroko, Uganda, after the River Semliki burst its banks in 2014. Credit: UNICEF