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Residents of Elegu township petition Ecweru over flooding

River Unyama floods Elegu township during rainy seasons. File Photo

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents of Elegu township in Amuru district have petitioned the State Minister for Works, Musa Ecweru over the delayed expansion of the bank of River Unyama to avert flooding.

In 2019, the government through the Ministry of Works signed a tripartite deal worth Shillings 1.9 billion to expand the banks of River Unyama, which has over the years been prone to flooding. Signatories to the deal are Trademark East Africa, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and Amuru district.

However to date, there is nothing on the ground. The area continues suffering flash floods especially during rainy seasons. Last year, eight people died and property worth millions of Shillings perished in the floods. Elegu township with a population of more than 13,000 people is one of Uganda’s business hubs and entry point for the East African countries into South Sudan. Residents in the area say that they are currently living in fear of destruction and deaths due to the resurgence of heavy rains which started last month.

Janet Lakot, a resident of Lorikwor East, which is greatly affected by the flooding says that they are not happy by the government’s delay to expand the banks of River Unyama and creating a diversion. She noted that residents have continued to live in fear of destruction and damage whenever it rains.

Richard Fakuru, another resident tasked Ecweru and his team to expedite the works in order to save them since they have no other place to relocate too. The residents presented their petition to the Minister and a team of engineers during their visit over the weekend to the affected area to assess the extent of the damage caused over the years and how best the flooding can be controlled.

They also raised concern of the poor health conditions in the area, which have seen diseases such as dysentery, scabies, skin rashes and cholera reoccurring. In his response, Ecweru said his first task was to assess the situation so that he can present a better report to the government for expeditious response.

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