Uganda Red Cross responds to deadly landslide in eastern Uganda

Published: 27 June 2012

June 27th 2012 - Kampala/Geneva  -  Staff and volunteers from the Uganda Red Cross are continuing to assist survivors following a deadly landslide which struck the Bududa district in eastern Uganda on the evening of Monday 26th June.  At least 18 people are feared dead following the landslide on the slopes of Mount Elgon which engulfed the mountainous villages of Namanga and Bunakasala and covered an area of approximately 5 acres.  Ten people were seriously injured in the landslide and taken to the local Bududa hospital after receiving first aid from Red Cross volunteers.

"The landslide came after heavy weekend rains and has led to the displacement of around 735 people who may need resettling.  We are also concerned that over 3000 people may have been affected by the landslide," said Ken Kiggundu,  Head of Disaster Management for the Uganda Red Cross. "Moving people to safer areas will now be a key priority, but many people are reluctant to move due to the high fertility of the surrounding land."

Local Red Cross staff and volunteers joined the army and members of the local community in helping to dig through the mud and rubble for survivors but have so far been unsuccessful due to the heavy debris. The rescue mission has been officially called off and the focus is now on the removal of bodies and  assisting the injured and displaced.  Red Cross volunteers are also at the scene providing psycho-social support to these affected and traumatised by the landslide. Food supplies such as maize flour and beans are also being distributed to the survivors and the displaced.

"It's still unclear at this stage how many people are missing," said Mr Kiggundu.  "Red Cross tracing of missing people is now underway and we should have a clearer picture of this tragic situation by the end of the day."

The Uganda Red Cross is currently carrying out an assessment  with the Uganda government in the affected area.  Urgent needs include earth-moving equipment, spades, gloves, boots and helmets.  Those displaced are also in urgent need of tents, tarpaulins, blankets, soap and mosquito nets according to the Uganda Red Cross. 

In August 2010, at least 24 people were killed in the same area when mud washed away homes in the Bulambuli district of eastern Uganda.

For more information or photos please call:

Susie Chippendale, a.i Manager, Public communication, Geneva on + 41 79 959 25 36
 
Catherine Ntabadde, Communications Officer at the Uganda Red Cross on  +256 776312015
 

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