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Rescue Team Abandons Mudslide Site

Uganda Mudslide, Sironko mudslide

The hope of recovering the remains of more mudslide victims in Bufupa parish in Masaba Sub County in Sironko district in Eastern Uganda are fading following the withdrawal of the rescue team from the site last week citing heavy rains.

Mudslides hit Bufupa parish on August 28, 2017 burying unidentified number of people and displacing hundreds of others. The mudslides also destroyed several, homes, crop gardens and livestock.

The body of one landslide victim was recovered while nine others are still missing. In response to the mudslides, government deployed a team from Uganda National Roads Authority to retrieve the remains of the victims.

Andrew Francis Oluka, the Sironko Chief Administrative Officer, who doubles as the Chairperson of the District Disaster Committee says the rescue team retreated from the site a week ago, citing heavy rains.

He says the team withdrew from the site for fear of more mudslides given the heavy rains.

“The rescue team tried their best to recover the missing bodies but due to heavy rains they couldn’t continue,” he told our reporter.

Herbert Mulekwa, the Sironko District LC V Chairman, says it was risky for the rescue team to continue given the heavy rains. Alex Bunga, the Masaba Sub county LC V councilor, says the continuous rains kept disrupting the recovery of the missing bodies. “The machine operators feared for their lives as stones kept rolling down whenever they tried excavating the site,” he said.

Eunice Nandudu Maku, the Masaba Sub County Female Council, says the excavators that were being used by the rescue team are now parked in Kiboko center in Bufupa Parish in Sironko district.

George Ssonko, the Mbale UNRA Station Engineer who leading the rescue team, says they left the site because of heavy rains. “We are waiting for communication from the Sironko District Disaster Committee before deciding our next course of action,” he said.

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