Saturday, 23 June 2012

Mahango landslide victims remain homeless after one year

It is eight months now since Mr. and Mrs. Bwambale Mulemba lost three
of their four children and two relatives in landslide that occurred on
the night of October 9, 2011. But as the memories of the deceased
children are not yet off the minds of the parents, they are yet to
settle down in a new home after being advised to leave the fateful
land in Mahango sub-county, Kasese district.
The dead children are Ednus Mumbere, 15, Edwin Bwambale, 8, and
Phebryn Kabugho, 2, both Mr. Mulemba’s children. The others are Yoneki
Nziabake, 17 who was MR. Mulemba’s parents’ last daughter, and Brian
Masereka, 17, who has visited the family the day before.
Mr. Mulemba’s children were studying at Mahango primary school where
as his sister Nziabake was a Senior Two student at Mahango Secondary
School where she has been the assistant head girl.
There were nine people in the house at the time of the disaster with
only four escaping unhurt, since they were sleeping in a different
Mr. Mulemba, wife and the only remaining child stay with a relative in
Kisinga three sub-counties away from their former home but do not know
when and where they will establish a new home.
In an interview with the Daily Monitor in Kisinga on Tuesday, Mr.
Mulemba said that the spirits of his lost children and relatives may
not rest well until the family has a place to live in permanently.
“After losing my children, my sister and an in-law in one incident, we
decided to leave the area (Mahango) where I grew from my childhood.
But it is like I did not solve anything because I have not managed to
settle down in my own place”. Mr. Mulemba said.
A chairman LC one of Mahango village at the time of the disaster, Mr.
Mulemba says his wife has not yet settled down because she has found
the spirits of the deceased children several times when she goes to
work in the gardens rented for cultivation.
Much as Mr. Mulemba and the family left Mahango with people thinking
that their family was struct with a disaster because one of the
deceased Brian Masereka had stolen someone’s jackfruits before running
to the fateful house, the landslides have not stopped at all.
Six other people were killed in similar landslides in different parts
of Kasese district two weeks ago including three from the same house
in Mahango sub-county.
Empty promises.
Mr. Mulemba says there are some individuals and institutions that came
to sympathize with him during the trying moments and promised to help
him financially to put up a new home but to date none has respond to
the promises.
Kasese district chairman Lt. Col. Mawa Muhindo told mourners on the
burial day that the local government would donate 500000shs to the
family to start the construction of a new house but according to Mr.
Mulemba no response has come through despite several phone calls.
However, a councilor at the district who preferred anonymity told
Daily Monitor that the matter has never been brought to the notice of
the district council to see whether the pledge can be included in the
He calls upon the well wishers to come to his rescue so that he
establishes a new home to start a new life to restore the hope.
Meanwhile, the Mahango sub-county leadership has vowed to arrest every
man whose house is not well planned. The affected families whenever
landslides occur are with those houses that are very close to the
steep ground walls.
The area LC 3 Chairman Mr. Stephen Muthekengwa influenced the
sub-county council to pass a resolution to compel every house head to
leave at least three to four meters of free space between the house
and the upper ground wall.
Seven people were killed by landslides in Kasese last year.
Six have so far been killed this year.
Over 30 houses have been demolished by the disaster in different hilly
Environmentalists say more are likely to occur.

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