Rains, floods devastate Uganda - 40 dead

2011-08-31 19:00
Kampala - At least 40 have died in landslides and thousands displaced by floods across Uganda in recent weeks as torrential rains have devastated villages and submerged homes, the Uganda Red Cross reported on Wednesday.

A total of about 30 000 homesteads with a population of over 150 000 people have been affected by the floods, which are concentrated mostly in the country's eastern, western and south-western parts, though also in some central Ugandan regions.

Emergency operations are underway to contain the crisis, the relief agency announced.

Hundreds of households have been submerged and thousands of acres of crop destroyed by the floods and heavy rains. Meanwhile, tons of mud are peeling off slopes in mountainous areas in the east and south-west of the country, it said.

"We have put teams of our staff in all the affected areas and they are co-operating with other authorities to see how to handle the situation.

“URC does not settle people and so we have to collaborate with other agencies and authorities on how to relocate the displaced," Red Cross spokesperson Catherine Ntabadde told the German Press Agency dpa.

In two counties in the eastern district of Butaleja, 231 households were flooded, the agency said. The Red Cross did not give the total number of people displaced by the floods.

However, it stated that over 25 000 homesteads were affected by the landslides, which early in the week struck villages on the slopes of mountain Elgon in eastern Uganda, killing over 40 people.

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