Experts say 100,000 people at risk of landslides during El Nino season

Uganda landslide

Bududa landslide, 2010. Photo credit: Peter Busomoke/AFP/Getty Images

Currently, more than 100,000 people (12,500 households) are at a risk of landslides in the Mt. Elgon and Rwenzori sub-regions. As stated above, upto 20,000 of them are likely to be displaced between November 2015 and February 2016.

According to a World Meteorological Organization report Uganda and other East African Countries would experience an El Nino episode from late October 2015 to February 2016. The report has warned that this year’s El Nino will be stronger than the one of March 2010 which buried over 150 people and a Health Centre in Bududa District and the one of 2006 which flooded many villages in Teso and Lango sub-regions. The  report also indicates that El Nino is expected to cause flooding, extensive erosion and mudslides with loss of lives, destruction of homes and food supplies at varying levels in some districts.

Ministry of Heath says the incidence of infectious and non-communicable diseases such as Malaria, Cholera, Asthma, Typhoid, Bilharzia, Dysentery and acute respiratory infections will rise to outbreak levels in about 33 of the 112 districts. The ministry further warns that the negative effects of the El Nino rains are likely to cause health hazards to hundreds of households in the Rwenzori region and the following districts; Bududa, Bulambuli, Manafwa, Sironko, Mbale, Butaleja, Tororo, Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Kween, Kasese, Budibugyo, Ntoroko, Kampala among others.

The Ministry of Health urges the public to observe good general hygiene and sanitation around homes and schools, seek early treatment from the nearest health facility in case of illness, sleep under mosquito nets to avoid Malaria as well as boil all drinking water as water sources are likely to be affected.

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