A section of people whose homesteads were submerged by the 2020/2021 flood at the shores of Lake Albert in Buliisa District, call upon the government to either allow them to re-occupy their former homesteads or resettle them elsewhere since they are still homeless after they were advised against returning to the once flooded areas.
Mr Jasper Godfrey Tibakanya, a resident of Wanseko landing site in Kigoya sub-county, Buliisa district in mid-western Uganda, wonders that ever since the area was flooded, the government has never thought of resettling them amid unending promises.
He says homelessness coupled with strict restrictions on fishing in the lake, the residents’ main economic activity has rendered them poorer to the level of almost failing to either pay rent for their families or contribute food to relatives who accommodate them.
Now that flood water has returned to its normal level, Mr Tibakanya asks the government to actually respond to their plight in a manner that favours them.
“The good news is that the water is slowly going back to normal level. But the government has totally refused us to re-occupy the areas on the grounds that it is a wetland. Let the government allow us to re-occupy those areas so that we can look for possible ways of survival because we are not seeing any intervention for resettling us and we keep being homeless.” He says.
Mr Tom Kaahwa who is also a resident of Wanseko landing site castigates the government failing to walk the talk when, according to him, flood affected residents were made to fill forms giving their details allegedly in promise of being assisted but to his astonishment, two years later, nothing has ever materialised.
He says the laws governing fishing on the lake are pauperising them further since it was the only economic activity they relied on as their ancestral means of support.
The resident continues that they are a burden to their relatives who have so far accommodated them for more than two years since the flood hit the area.
They say this is making life miserable for both parties given that the flood displaced since they did not have any other land where to establish their places of abode.
Mr Kabagambe Kamanda, the Buliisa Sub-county Local Government Chairman, appeals to the higher government authorities to intervene and ensure that they map out some pieces of land at the landing sites of Lake Albert for physical planning so that people who were displaced by the flood can start their new constructions as a guarantee of their safety in case a third episode of flood occurs.
Quite a number of public installations were submerged by the flood including schools and health facilities in the lake districts of Bunyoro region including Buliisa which Mr Kabagambe says highly affected the constituents in his political area of jurisdiction.