Uganda town submerged by floodwater

Thousands of people are displaced and five have been killed in the northern town of Elegu.

Last Modified: 11 Aug 2013 12:34
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Thousands of people have been displaced on Saturday after flooding washed away their homes. [CCTV]

Thousands of people in a north Ugandan border town have been displaced on Saturday after floods washed away their homes.

The floods struck after a nearby river overflowed its banks following hours of torrential rain. It has been reported that as many as five people died, but only three bodies have been recovered.

Normally, Elegu is a vibrant border town with businesses from local bars to lodges, and markets with cross-border trade goods between Uganda and South Sudan. Now, it is under water and residents are no where to be seen.

Moses Okello owned rental houses here. All are destroyed with nothing to salvage. He has already taken his family back to his village because there is nowhere to sleep. He says he has lost hope.

"There is no way now. We are stuck. We have no where to start," he said.

Fear of diseases

Sarah Ninsiima is another victim whose bar and lodges got submerged. She has no roof over her head and wonders what to do next.

"That day I wanted to go to another place, we were told this place usually floods during rainy season. I heard people screaming that the floods were coming, only to realize the water was knee high and it was on the beds," said Ninsiima.

There is also a fear of diseases like malaria and cholera may accompany the floods. Locals said that all the pit latrines were washed away and people have been using the bushes as toilets.

The Ugandan Red Cross organization has so far delivered a few essentials like blankets and food, but people here are still without roofs above their heads.

Weather experts say more rains are expected until October.


Al Jazeera and agencies
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