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One dead, scores displaced as floods cut off Mbale-Butaleja road

BUTALEJA: Raging floods in Butaleja District have killed one person, destroying property worth millions of shillings and displacing residents. The most affected victims are residents of Leresi cell, Butaleja Town council along Mbale-Butaleja-Busolwe road.

The deceased is a resident of Manafwa District, who was swept by water as he attempted to cross the flooded Nakwasi River in Leresi cell.

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According to residents, the deceased victim has been buying papyrus mats in the villages of Hisega or Bunghaji in Butaleja town council.

The floods were triggered by heavy rain that has been pounding the area for the last two days, causing Manafwa and Nakwasi rivers to burst their banks and spilling into the neighboring communities hence displacing hundreds of residents.

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Bukedi South Police Spokesperson, Mr Moses Mugwe, said authorities in Butaleja District have started investigating a case of drowning of an unidentified businessman who has been dealing in papyrus mats.

“It is true one person was swept away by the water. We have not recovered his body but the search is still ongoing. We managed to recover his bicycle,” Mr Mugwe said.

He said police have alerted the surrounding community to inform authorities about any victims.

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A man pictured carrying a traveler on his back as they cross the flooded road in Butaleja District on May 7, 2021. Photos/ Yahudu Kitunzi.

The LC5 chairperson-elect for Butaleja District, Mr Michael Higenyi Bory, said about 15,000 families are estimated to have been affected by floods.

He said crops destroyed include rice, sweet potatoes and cassava farms, among others.

“The roads that connect Mbale to Butaleja are now impassable with roads submerged and many people have been left stranded. We have been having floods but this is worse, “Mr Higenyi said.

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