Bududa deadly mudslides: Survivor’s tale


Saleh said his wife and another grandson survived because they had gone to sell certain items to Bukigai market.

Paul Saleh survived to tell his story. Photo by (Credit: Paul Watala)

By Yasin Nyango 

BUDUDA – One of the survivors of the landslides in the mountainous district of Bududa has narrated how he cheated death when they struck on Thursday, leaving at least 40 people dead. 
Paul Saleh, a resident of Bunamumya village in Bukhalasi sub-county, told New Vision that as it was raining heavily, he heard something bursting and after a short while, he saw water filling up his house, where he was with his two grandsons. 
“I quickly told my grandchildren to climb up the roof and hold onto the roofing poles. After ensuring that they were all holding themselves firm, I decided to hold onto the roofing poles of my house and that is how we survived,” he said.  
Saleh said his wife and another grandson survived because they had gone to sell certain items to Bukigai market.
He said his property which included food items, chicken and cattle were swept by the mudslides.
Residents have appealed to the Government to al locate a safe places for the people who reside in mudslide prone areas. 
“We are sad that every time the rains come we lose lives and property. Let people in mudslide prone areas be taken to safe areas,” residents at the scene said.
 Martin Owor, the commissioner for disaster preparedness in the Office of the Prime Minister, said the river burst its banks at about 2:30pm local time following a downpour “and a landslide up the mountain”.
“It rolled big boulders through a village in Bukalasi sub-county, killing several people,” he said in a statement adding: “A detailed disaster loss and damage report will be issued after the ongoing assessment.”

Residents looked on in the aftermath of the deadly disaster. (Credit: Paul Watala) 

Museveni speaks out

President Yoweri Museveni said the Government has dispatched rescue teams to Bududa following the disaster.

Museveni, who was away in London to attend a conference on illegal wildlife trade, tweeted Thursday, urging residents to “co-operate with authorities to mitigate possible further danger”.
“I have received the sad news of landslides wreaking havoc in Bududa district, killing a yet-to-specified number of residents. The government has dispatched rescue teams to the affected areas. 
“The government will look at the other options available to stop further occurrences of these disasters. My condolences to those who have lost their dear ones in this catastrophe,” the President tweeted.
Relief supplies including food, blankets, tents, tarpaulins, jerricans, and saucepans have been provided to survivors.
By press time, the Uganda Police Force, Uganda People’s Defence Forces(UPDF) and residents were searching for more survivors and dead bodies.


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