Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 3,500 flood victims in Buliisa district are languishing in poverty almost two years after they were displaced from their homes by floods triggered by the rising water levels in Lake Albert
The most affected people are from the landing sites of Wanseko, Katanga, Masaka, in Kigwera sub-county, Kawaibanda, Butiaba, Boma, Kigangaizi, Tugombili and Walukuba. Others are from Bugoigo, Piida, Kigungu, Kamagongoro, Serule, Waisoki, Triangle and Magali in Butiaba sub-county, Kabolwa and Kigoya landing sites in Buliisa sub-county.
The Office of the Prime Minister donated 137 bags of maize flour, 27 bags of beans, 845 tarpaulins, 217 plastic basins and 1,245 kilometres of sugar to the flood victims in August 2021. But the items could not reach all the victims, the majority of whom took refuge in churches, schools and makeshift structures scattered across the area.
Their living situation became more miserable when schools reopened and those who were being accommodated in schools had to vacate to give space to learners. They are currently sheltered under trees.
Fred Mulyolyo, one of the flood victims at the Bugoigo Landing Site says that life is very difficult for him and his family after all his three permanent houses were submerged by floods adding that he has also failed to take back his children to school. Mulyolyo who is currently living in a makeshift structure wonders why the government has ignored them
Joselyne Tibenda, a mother of four and resident of Butiaba Landing Site in Butiaba Town Council has resorted to selling firewood to look after her family after floods submerged her wholesale shop. She says her family can hardly have a meal a day.
David Musinguzi, another victim at the Wanseko Landing Site wonders why the government has not thought of resettling them despite the hardship they are facing.
George Mbidi, a resident of the Kigoya Landing Site in Buliisa sub-county says that life has become extremely difficult for him and his family members ever since the floods submerged their houses. He wants the government to find land and immediately resettle them.
Buliisa District Chairperson Fred Lukumu has tasked the government to ensure that the flood victims are immediately profiled and resettled by the Office of the Prime Minister because right now, their condition is appalling. He says they have severally notified the relevant offices for help but since March 2020, nothing much has been done by the government to help the Buliisa flood victims.
In August 2021, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja assured the flood victims that the government was already profiling all flood-affected persons in the district and drafting a comprehensive plan for their resettlement.