Uganda News

Buliisa residents return to the floodplain. Homesteads that are prone to flooding

Hundreds of residents in Buliisa District have begun returning to their homes after being displaced by rising water levels on Lake Albert in 2020.

The over 10,000 locals who have been living in camps say they can no longer afford to rent land. They also hold the government responsible for the delay in resettling them.

Floods wreaked havoc on homes, marketplaces, schools, highways, and health facilities at Wanseko, Masaka, Wankende, Kaloolo, Katala, Songalendu, Chogoliech, Kabbolwa, Bugoigo, Walukuba, Butiaba, Tugombili, Booma, Munyali, and Kaweibanda, among other landing sites.
Ms Miriam Joyce, a 30-year-old mother of six, said she returned to the flooded area because life at the camp had become prohibitively expensive.

“I’m restoring my old house so I can move all of my belongings.” “The government promised to relocate us, but we’ve been waiting in vain,” she added.
She went on to say that the landowners in the camps don’t let them build permanent structures.

“I cannot stop anyone going back to rebuild their house since they have no sources of income to sustain their livelihoods at the camps,” Masaka Village chairperson Mr Augustine Bagonza said.

He claimed that the majority of the victims relied on fishing for a living, but that their fishing gear had been taken since it did not fulfill the minimum requirements.

Mr Collis Oyenyboth, 54, of Kisiimo Village, said he was forced to return because “the land on which we were dwelling doesn’t belong to us and we are always threatened with eviction.”

Mr Rogers Tumusiime, Buliisa’s environment officer, said: “As a district, we are attempting to establish a program to ensure that we notify and sensitize people about the dangers of returning to flood-prone areas.”

Mr Gilbert Tibasiima, the district vice chairperson, said: “People should not return to such regions because nature has already proved that it might reoccur at any time.” The central government has likewise failed to follow through on its promise to relocate displaced persons.”

Ms Robinah Nabbanja, the Prime Minister, he said, urged the leaders of Buliisa to hunt for land that the government could buy to rehabilitate the afflicted people last year.

“The Prime Minister herself came here and requested us to hunt for land to resettle displaced people,” he explained. “But the district couldn’t look for land since it didn’t have any money.”

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