KAARO KARUNGI | KYOTERA – The rising water levels in Lake Victoria and River Kagera have submerged several households at Kasensero landing site, Rakai District.
The floods that were triggered by the persistent seasonal rainfall have displaced more than 400 people from the villages of Kagera Cell 8, and 10. The fish sorting plant which was built under the European Union fund has also been submerged.
Francis Ssekiwunga, the Kagera Cell 8 Chairperson, says that some residents have temporarily shifted to nearby villages, while others have completely relocated to safer areas.
According to Ssekiwunga, the floods are similar to those that occurred in June 2020 and displaced over 1,000 residents in the same parish.
Yassin Ssentamu, the Kagera Cell 10 Chairperson, says the floods have disrupted various activities at the landing site since most of the access roads and buildings have been submerged.
He says the displaced families, some of which have been living in makeshift houses, have nowhere to go.
Alex Bbanda, a landlord near Kagera River says he is worried that the floods will damage her houses and even scare away his clients. He says that the majority of his tenants have abandoned the houses without paying rent.
Francis Kato, the in-charge of Kasensero HCIII, says that the facility is flooded which has forced the health workers and patients to abandon the facility. He adds residents in the area will struggle to access services and will force many of them to resort to services in private health facilities.
Resty Birungi, a resident of Kagera cell 10 says that she is worried about an epidemic outbreak saying the landing site is littered with garbage and human waste as a result of poor hygiene practices.
Jamiru Kiyingi, the Kyotera Natural Resources Officer, attributed the increasing floods in Kasensero to people who encroached on the banks of the lake.