Over 500,000 people in Uganda at risk of landslides, floods

20:33, March 08, 2010      

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Over 500,000 people in mountainous areas and their surroundings in eastern and western Uganda are facing high risks of landslides and floods, an official warned here on Monday.

Musa Ecweru, Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees told a pressing briefing that the most risky areas are those neighboring Mt. Rwenzori and mountainous areas in Kigezi in western Uganda and those neighboring Mt. Elgon in the eastern part of the country.

"The total population at risk of landslides and floods is estimated to be about 500,000 people," he said, warning that more people could be affected after latest meteorological reports indicating possible above normal rainfall for the current rainy season which ends in May.

Ecweru's warning comes just after a week a devastating landslide engulfing four villages on a hilly slope in Bududa district, killing 83 residents whose bodies have been retrieved from two villages and leaving about 350 more still missing and feared dead.

Out of the 500,000 affected people, over 300,000 have fled their homes in fear of landslides and floods in the eastern districts of Butaleja, Budaka and Tororo, he said.

He said government plans to resettle some of the population at very high risk to safer locations once the emergency operations of the Bududa incident ends.

Source: Xinhua
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