Lake Kijjanebarola Flood Victims Stranded As Government Relief Delays

Hundreds of residents who were displaced by the recent flooding of Lake Kijjanebarola in Rakai district are still stranded because of the government’s delays to deliver the much-needed relief support for their resettlement.  

Over 200 families in the parishes of Kigoto, Ntarure, Kanagisa, Kagaaga, and Kasankara, in Kagmba, Kachera, and Lwamaggwa sub-counties, Rakai district were rendered homeless after Lake Kijjanebarola burst its banks mid last month, causing heavy flooding in the area.

Besides the houses, the virulent flashfloods claimed three lives and dozens of livestock, on top of submerging several acres of plantations adjacent to the boundaries of the lake and its auxiliary tributaries. Despite witnessing some recession of the water, the flood victims are still stranded in improvised shelters due to failure to get relief support that would enable them to reconstruct their lives. 

Johnbosco Kaggwa, the LC I Chairperson for Kanigasa village, says that the flood victims are currently stuck and can hardly find support to rebuild their houses. He notes that the majority of the houses were badly ruined by the floods that left them inhabitable and that the victims will need to construct new ones. 

According to Kaggwa, in the wake of the calamity, the District Emergency Response Team inspected the affected area and pledged to lobby for relief support from the Office of the Prime Minister but to their disappointment, the much-needed aid is not forthcoming despite the urgent need.

Kaggwa says that some of the victims especially the vulnerable such as children and mothers had been accommodated in the neighboring communities, but they are now being asked to leave due to the additional burden on families that had hosted them.

He has pleaded with the government to support the victims with building materials such that they can reconstruct their homes and resettle their families. 

Jonan Mugume, Patrick Lukwago, and Sarah Kyabangi, some of the victims of the floods narrate that they are finding it so hard to survive in such deplorable conditions.  

The victims of Lake Kijjanebarola floods have cried out to the government to support them with the basic construction materials, saying they are currently sleeping in the cold and at risk of contracting diseases. Kyabangi adds that besides the destroyed houses, the victims are also starving because their food crops were also devastated by the floods. 

Robert Kambugu, the Rakai Deputy Resident District Commissioner and a member of the Emergency Response Team, also acknowledges the suffering the victims are currently facing.  

He says as they wait for the Office of the Prime Minister to deliver the support it promised to the victims, the district has also resorted to sourcing any aid from kindhearted groups of people that can provide temporary relief to the situation. 

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