Up to 100 feared dead in Uganda landslide


KAMPALA – Many villagers were feared dead in eastern Uganda yesterday after a landslide buried several settlements on the slopes of Mt Elgon which straddles the Kenyan border, local media reports said. Some reports said about 10 people had been killed in the landslide, while the local member of parliament, David Wakikona, said that up to 100 people could have been buried. This could not be independently verified.

“Three villages have been flattened in the Bumwalukani parish on the slopes of Mt Elgon and the initial reports I have is that more than 100 have been buried,” he said.

“The areas around Bududa district have been experiencing heavy rains for days now and I am told the landslides started around midday today and that they’re still going on and some villagers who survived the early slides are fleeing.”

Landslides caused by heavy rains are frequent in eastern Uganda, where at least 23 people were killed last year after mounds of mud buried their homes. Scores of others were buried alive in a similar disaster in March 2010.

The area affected produces coffee in what is the third biggest economy in east Africa. Stephen Mallinga, minister for relief and disaster preparedness, confirmed the landslides, saying there definitely had been fatalities, but he said it was unclear how many people had been killed. – (Reuters)