I went to the school and went to P3, one of the classes I hadn’t been to yet. About halfway through the class, Richard came to get me. I was to have some tea and some “bites” and then we were going to the landslides – today rather than tomorrow. We ate, then everyone piled into the van and we set off to Bududa.
It was an extremely bumpy and difficult road. Ignatius said he thought we didn’t have roads like this. We told him there were some that were even worse – where when it rains, you abandon your car because it isn’t going anywhere. He was surprised.
It took longer than we expected to get to the area, due to the increased traffic to the region, and the conditions of the roads. When we got there, it was pretty bad.
18-20 houses were buried – each with an estimated 2 people, mostly women and small children, as the slide happened around 2PM, when the men are at market and the older children are at school. So there are around 40 casualties, although the exact number is not in. Many other houses have been damaged, destroyed, or are at risk of future landslides, so the biggest problem now is homelessness. They can’t set up a camp in the region as there has been a cholera epidemic that is just slowing down, and a camp would see a massive resurgence in that. In the mean time, the people affected have to fend for themselves as best they can – including many new orphans and distraught family members.
This is the 4th slide in the area in recent years. The first slide killed over 450 people, the last to this 96. They are caused mostly by erosion due to deforestation of the area. Another 500 homes are deemed to be at immediate risk.
Later that day we watched a bit of the news, and one of the government ministers was advising that the government wait and let the people resettle themselves in other regions (most people in the area will need to move)… i.e. do nothing. Apparently, those who have lost everything, including family members and friends, have the finances to resettle themselves.