BUGIRI- More than 800 farmers across six villages in Buwunga Sub-county, Bugiri District are counting losses after hailstorms destroyed their crops over the weekend.
The affected villages include; Bubogo, Katala, Nambale, Kayeigu, Mutumba and Bugomba.
According to residents, the heavy downpour which was characterised by windstorm, started on Saturday at about 5pm, destroying plantations of rice, watermelon, cassava, maize, beans, groundnuts, soybeans and bananas among others.
When this reporter visited the affected villages 17 hours later, ice pellets were still visible on the ground.
Ms Jane Byakika, a resident of Nambale Village, one of the affected farmers, said she lost one-and-a-half acres of cassava, dashing all her hopes for a bumper harvest.
“All my hopes are gone! The hailstorms have taken me to zero and I don’t know where I will get food,” she said.
Mr Asuman Kadamali, a resident of Katala village whose six acres of watermelon were destroyed, said he used a bank loan to set up the plantation and was worried about repayment.
“I was expecting a bumpy harvest in October to enable me repay the loan but the whole garden is totally destroyed,” Mr Kadamali said.
Mr Karim Mbalumya, a rice farmer from Mutumba village, said he was on the verge of harvesting when his two acres were ravaged.
“I was going to start harvesting within a week but have been left with nothing, can’t even get seeds,” he said.
The Buwunga Sub-county LC3 Vice Chairperson, Yazid Tigawalana, said that about 800 farmers were affected, noting that the damage was enormous and appealed to the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness to intervene.
“About 10 houses were also destroyed by the rain; so we request government to send seeds to the affected people. It should also assist those whose houses were destroyed,” Mr Tigawalana said.