Dozens missing following heavy rains in Uganda

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Dozens of people are missing after heavy rains caused landslides in eastern Uganda’s Bududa district, the Red Cross said on Wednesday.

“Preliminary information coming through indicates that around 150 houses could be destroyed, five people are suspected to be dead and around 50 missing,” Uganda’s Red Cross said in a statement.

The agency’s communications officer, Irene Nakasiita told AFP: “the area (Bududa) experienced heavy rains that led to the landslides”.

Bududa district in the foothills of Mount Elgon, which lies on the border between Uganda and Kenya, is a high risk area for landslides.

In 2018 at least 41 people were killed after a river in the region burst its banks, and in 2010 at least 100 people were killed in a landslide.

A statement from the office of Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said that “there are reports of displacement and destruction of property as well as missing persons.”

“In total, over 100,000 people living precariously on the slopes of Mount Elgon are estimated to be at great danger and requiring relocation” to avoid the danger of landslides.

Local lawmaker Godfrey Watenga told AFP the landslides had taken place late on Tuesday evening.

“It is a tragic occurrence. Many people are said to be dead and many missing but we are trying to get the details as the terrain here is difficult to manoeuvre and get to the affected villages.”