Uganda – 5 Dead, Dozens Missing After Landslides in Eastern Region

At least 5 people have died after a series of landslides in the Eastern Region of Uganda.

Landslide in Bududa District, Eastern Region, Uganda, June 2019. Photo: Uganda Red Cross Society

Uganda Broadcasting Coropration (UBC) said that multiple landslides were reported within Bududa district, 3 serious landslides hit Buwaali Sub-County in the areas of Bunamwamba North, Bunamwamba Main and Bunamwamba South. Around 50 people are believed to be missing and 150 houses destroyed.

The landslides occurred during the night of 04 June to early 05 June, 2019, after a period of about 4 hours of heavy rain. Local media reported that the rain also caused some flooding, with the River Summe breaking its banks in Bunamwamba Main.

Uganda Red Cross Society said that their teams are on ground to conduct rapid assessment, concentrating in the worst hit areas of Bunamwamba North, Main and South.

Map of landslides in Bududa District, Eastern Region, Uganda, June 2019. Photo: Uganda Red Cross Society

Flood and Landslide High Risk Area

Bududa 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.

The district of Bududa was the scene of devastating landslides and floods in October last year, where at least 34 people died. In 2010 at least 100 people were killed in a landslide in the area.

Flood Events in Uganda 2019

This is the third major flooding or landslide event to hit the country since late April this year. Just a few days ago 8 people died in flooding in the country’s capital, Kampala.

A storm that brought hail, strong winds and heavy rain to parts of eastern Uganda on 23 April left at least 18 people dead and displaced around 900 in Buyende and Kamuli districts.

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