Uganda flooding kills at least 16 people after torrential rainfall

Many still missing after homes destroyed and submerged in country’s Bundibugyo district

Samuel Lovett
Sunday 08 December 2019 22:07 GMT
Members of the Ugandan Red Cross carry a dead body after flooding and landslides left 16 dead in western Uganda
Members of the Ugandan Red Cross carry a dead body after flooding and landslides left 16 dead in western Uganda

At least 16 people have been swept to their deaths by heavy flooding in western Uganda, according to Red Cross.

Torrential rainfall across the country’s Bundibugyo district left houses submerged or destroyed by flash floods which struck throughout Saturday morning.

Rescuers and volunteers have since been working to recover bodies from the high waters, with many people still reported to be missing.

“Red Cross volunteers have been deployed to start on the house to house needs assessment and registration to establish needs of the people,” Irene Nakasiita, a Red Cross spokeswoman, said on Sunday.

The aid organisation added that recovered bodies had been trapped in cocoa trees in the Bundibugyo hills.

“It is a very devastating moment,” it said.

The police and military have also been involved in search and rescue operations in more than a dozen affected areas.

Recovery efforts and communications are being hindered by continued rainfall in the remote location on the border with DR Congo, reported AFP.

People have been urged by Uganda’s disaster management agency to keep away from river banks, steep slopes and flooded roads.

This follows the heavy downpours of last week which claimed a number of lives in the east of the country.

Uganda has been badly affected by deluges of rain throughout November and December, along with Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Tanzania, Somalia and South Sudan.

According to the United Nations, almost 300 people have died as a result of floods and landslides which have devastated large parts of east Africa over the past two months. Millions have also been displaced.

The Horn of Africa saw up to 300 per cent above average rainfall between October and mid-November, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

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