Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) delivered relief items worth UGX 10 Million (USD 3700) to the people who were affected by flash floods and landslides that occurred in October 2018 killing over 60 people in Bududa District.
According to Bashir Hangi Communications Manager, UWA, the items that included maize flour (posho), beans, sugar, rice, hoes, cups, plates, soap salt and assorted clothes donated by UWA staff were handed over by the UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha to the Bududa District Chairperson Watira Wilson at the District headquarters.
‘UWA is reaching out to the affected communities as part of its corporate social responsibility .‘…affected communities are neighboring Mt. Elgon National Park and have played a role in its protection. As neighbors, we have come to make a contribution towards the victims of the flash floods and landslides”, said the UWA chief.
He observed that tourists want to visit places that are peaceful and called for strengthening relations between UWA, the district Leadership and the communities for better management of Mt Elgon Conservation Area and attraction of more tourists so that communities can benefit more from the protected area.
The Bududa district chairperson Watira Wilson appreciated UWA for the good gesture of donating relief items to people affected by flash floods and landslides in the district. “I am honored to receive UWA in my district and I appreciate your efforts and kindness towards
our people. You could have decided to ignore us since your staff has already been helping us but you have also brought physical items and I thank you on behalf of the entire leadership of Bududa”, he remarked.
The UWA Executive Director also interacted with the affected persons at Bukalasi Church where he expressed sympathy for the tragedy that befell them and asked them to conserve the environment in order to minimize of such natural calamities.
Representing the clergy, Archdeacon Rev. Venerable Peter Natseli of Buluceke Archdeaconry commended UWA for being a pro- people organization by remembering that communities around Mt. Elgon National Park are in need and coming in to help. He said that people now feel the benefit of the protected area and view UWA as a friend in need. He urged the community members to support UWA in conservation so that they can continue benefiting from the protected area.
The function was also attended by the Assistant Commissioner for Disaster Management in the Office of the Prime Minister Rose Nakabugo among others.
Previous disasters in Bududa
There have been several disasters in Bududa , the worst of which occurred in March 2010 when over 100 people were buried by massive landslides triggered by heavy rains on the slopes of Mt. Elgon , a region dominated by the Bamasaba (Bagishu) Sabinyi and the minority Ndorobo tribes lies along the Uganda/ Kenya border in Eastern Uganda.
Although scientists have attributed this to climate change, communities surrounding the National Park have encroached on the vegetation including the park boundaries with the support of local politicians exacerbating an already precarious situation.
The Ministry for Disaster Preparedness has attempted to relocate communities affected by landslides to safer areas in order to rebuild their lives , with little success due to ancestral attachments.
Erupting 24 million years ago,. the 4321M high Elgon Mountain is a massive solitary volcanic mountain on the Uganda-Kenya border. The 4000km surface area is the largest caldera of any volcanic mountain worldwide. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve.