Dozens killed by Uganda landslides
Wednesday 03 March 2010
Landslides have swamped three villages in Uganda, killing at least 86 people and leaving hundreds missing after rivers of mud swept through a church and hospital, officials said today.
Uganda's minister of state for disaster preparedness said 50 students who had taken refuge in a hospital were among the dead or missing.
Kevin Nabutwa, a Uganda Red Cross official, said 86 bodies have been recovered so far, and police and army forces are working to recover more bodies in remote villages which officials said are a three-hour walk from a main highway.
"The government is doing all it can to rescue those still alive," said Musa Ecweru, the disaster preparedness minister.
"President Museveni has instructed the army to join the organisations and volunteers carrying out rescue work."
Heavy rains began on Monday evening, triggering landslides in the Bududa region, 170 miles east of Kampala. The region has long suffered from landslides but rarely has the death toll been so high.
"All of a sudden the church collapsed. Mud covered the whole place. Five people seated next to me died. I only survived because my head was above the mud," James Kasawi, 20, said from a hospital in Bududa, where he is recovering from a broken leg and arm.
Another survivor, Mohamed Mudindi, described a scene of panic: "I was up in the mountain standing then I heard a loud bang then we saw smoke, then the landslide.
"So we started running away from the scene, we then went to the rescue place leaving many people and animals behind. So when we went back most of our people were gone."
Unusually heavy rains battered eastern Uganda in 2007 and forced 2,000 people from their homes and affected 50,000 people in what humanitarian officials said were the worst rains in 35 years.
Landslides were reported in some areas. Nearly 4,000 households said their crops were damaged and flood waters contaminated springs, boreholes and wells for thousands of Ugandans. Many people reported being too afraid to use latrines in case they collapsed.
The conditions prompted aid agencies to raise alarms about the heightened risk of malaria, diarrhoea, skin diseases, chest infections and intestinal diseases.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...