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Deadly floods kill at least 16 in Uganda as storms conquer East Africa

By East Africa correspondent , Garowe Online

KAMPALA, Uganda - Powerful winds and deadly storms have continued to cause havoc across East Africa, with many already succumbing in the past one month.

Uganda is the latest to experience devastating landslides and floods, well spread across the country. The western part of the country is the worst hit.

At least 16 people have been confirmed dead by Sunday, Red Cross Uganda said in a tweet, thanking dozens of volunteers at the affected areas.

"Our Response action team in Bundibugyo is up and running. So far 16 bodies retrieved. Thanks to our volunteers (RCATs) in action," read the tweet.

Red Cross Uganda further said, "We are doing dead body management to ensure the dignity of those claimed by the tragedy."

More bodies are expected to be retrieved from Bundibugyo hills where they are trapped in cocoa trees, Uganda Red Cross added.

While describing the situation as devastating, Red Cross said, "We have deployed a Psycho-Social Support team to offer emotional support to those affected."

Musa Ecweru, the Minister of state for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, last week said the government will effectively handle the situation.

The government, he added, will seek future long term solutions to curb landslides resulting from intensive rains across the country.

"Cabinet then directed two solutions; resettlement of the survivors in part of the Refugee settlement land in Kiryandongo and long term solution for those at risk of future landslides," he said in a statement.

As part of temporary measures, the Ugandan government also urged those living in risky regions like Bugisu to shift to safer places.

Ugandan People Patriotic Defence Forces and the police have been helping in search and rescue missions with the rains expected to continue throughout December.

In neighboring Kenya, over 130 people have been killed by raging floods across the country, government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna confirmed last week.

The worst tragedy hit last month in West Pokot County where over 60 people were buried alive following deadly mudslides in the region.

At Somalia, already deadly storms have struck in the coastal regions across Puntland following cyclone dubbed Pawan.

The floods have so far damaged properties valued millions besides destroying infrastructure and displacing thousands across East Africa.


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