Uganda – Deadly Floods and Landslides in Eastern Region (Updated)

Update, 05 December 2019:

The Uganda Red Cross reports that 4 deaths have been confirmed in the landslides in Bududa district. One further death was reported as a result of flooding. As many as 38 people are thought to be missing. Red Cross teams, police, army and volunteers are carrying out search operations.

Meanwhile in Sironko, the Red Cross says that landslides and flooding have affected Zesui, Masaba Sub County, Budadiri town council and Busulani, Bumumulo Parish. As of late 04 December, 5 deaths were reported and over 200 people were displaced.

Landslide in Eastern Uganda, December 2019. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister’s Department of Disaster Preparedness and Management

Original report, 04 December 2019:

At least 2 people have died and more are feared missing after floods and landslides in Bushika sub-county, Bududa district in the Eastern Region of Uganda.

The tragedy hit after hours of heavy rain on 03 December, 2019. Around 20 houses were reportedly destroyed or swept away, raising fears that many more people could be missing.

Severe flooding and landslides were also reported in Sironko District, also in Eastern Region, where the Sironko river broke its banks. Local media reported at least 3 people have died. Houses, crops and roads have all been damaged.

Last year at least 34 people died in a landslide in Bududa district. The district is situated in the steep foothills of Mount Elgon, close to Uganda’s border with Kenya and is known to be a high risk area for landslides. A study in 2016 revealed that deep rooted links to poverty, deforestation, soil erosion and poor local knowledge on disaster preparedness were responsible for failure to overcome the effects to landslides and floods in disaster prone communities.

Northern Region

Heavy rain has also caused problems elsewhere in the country. In the Northern Region the overflowing White Nile river cut important roads and a bridge in the Pakwach area. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded. Teams from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) have been working in the area and the bridge has since re-opened.