Residents of Ntoroko district are crying out for help following floods that have ravaged the district.
For the past two weeks, more than 1,000 families had been displaced by the floods after River Semiliki burst its banks. The displaced people are from the four sub counties of Bweramule, Butungama, Rwebisengo, and Kanara.
The floods have also displaced over 300 cattle farmers who got stranded with their animals and several crop gardens are destroyed. Some of the roads leading to schools have also been submerged by the water forcing some schools to temporarily close.
Gerald Byaruhanga, a farmer says that since the floods ravaged the area, they haven’t received any help from the district authorities. He says that his acres of cocoa gardens were destroyed by the floods, which has affected his income. Byaruhanga, whose house was also washed away by floods, says that accommodating his family is now a big problem and is left with no option but to sleep out.
Residents in the flood affected areas are also scared of an outbreak of cholera after all the pit latrines were washed way. Gerald Mutooro, a resident of Rukora village in Karugutu Sub County, says that residents in the area have resorted to defecating in the waters, exposing the community to diarrhea and other diseases.
Mutooro, who is a member of the village health team (VHT), says they are planning to construct new pit latrines, but it’s impossible since the whole area is submerged in water.
Steven Mumbere, the Kanara LC 3 chairman, says that the floods affected more than 500 residents of Kabimbiri I and II villages and Haibale zone in Haibale parish, Kayanja, Bweramule and Kyapa villages in Bweramule parish and Rukora village in Rukora parish. He says that the affected people have decided to seek temporal shelter in the churches and schools.
Robert Kamuhanda, the Ntoroko district environment officer, attributes the floods to the uncontrolled human activities by the cattle keepers on the banks of River Semuliki, forcing it to burst. Kamuhanda says that the district had started a campaign to plant trees on the river banks to help in controlling the floods, but it stalled due to lack of funds.
Timothy Kyamanywa, the Ntoroko district LC5 Chairperson, says that the district has written to the Ministry for relief and disaster preparedness and are waiting for support. Kyamanywa also says that the district disaster management committee lacks funds to help those displaced by the floods. He says that funds are needed to purchase food and tents to shelter the flood victims.