Residents of Butaleja district have tasked the government to find a permanent solution to the floods that have continued to wreak havoc in the area.
Hundreds of people have been displaced over the years as floods devastated the area, destroying homes and crop gardens. Floods that hit the sub-counties of Himutu and Maizimasa affected more than 1200 people last week alone, causing them immense suffering as narrated by Edward Wandega, a resident of Maizimasa.
James Hisama, the LCIII Chairperson of Himutu sub-county says that residents in low lying areas near the river tried to put embankments along the banks of the river to mitigate floods, a measure which somehow helped but has not been sustainable. He says the government needs to step in now and repair the early warning systems, build water reservoirs that would control the volume of water and dig terraces along river Manafwa.
Butaleja district Chairperson Micheal Higenyi says that the best solution would be excavating a water reservoir in Mbale and constructing dikes along river Manafwa to control the volume of water that flows to the lowlands of Butaleja.
Butaleja Resident District Commissioner Stanley Bayoole says that his office is engaging the leadership of Mbale to allow the government to construct a water reservoir in the district which will contain the volumes of water saying that floods do not only affect the people of Butaleja but even those who do business in the district.
Dr Brain Kanaahe, the in-charge of Disasters at Uganda Red Cross Society observes a need for resilience and adaptation measures to the changing climate conditions. He adds that there is also a need for proper legislation and timely appropriation of funds to the disaster management department to enable them to respond to floods before they occur.