Uganda – Dozens Killed in Landslides and Floods in Eastern Region

The Red Cross in Uganda has reported that at least 34 people have lost their lives in a massive landslide and flooding in the district of Bududa, Eastern Region, Uganda, on 11 October, 2018.

According to local media, heavy rain in the region caused the River Tsuume to burst its banks, which in turn caused a landslide in Bukalasi in Bubiita Subcounty, Bududa district.

The Red Cross said that volunteers are working on the ground to support the victims and the Red Cross technical team is conducting risk assessments. However, some of the affected areas are still not accessible and it is possible the death toll could increase further. Local media said that hundreds are feared dead.

The President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni said via Social Media “I have received the sad news of landslides wreaking havoc in Bududa District, killing a yet-to-specified number of residents. The government has dispatched rescue teams to the affected areas. I urge residents to cooperate with authorities to mitigate possible further danger.

“The government will look at the other options available to stop further occurrences of these disasters. My condolences to those who have lost their dear ones in this catastrophe.”

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.

Floods and landslides in Bududa, Uganda, 11 October 2018. Photo: Uganda Red Cross

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