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5000 Children Stranded In Bududa As Schools Close

More than 5,000 children in Bushiyi Sub County, the centre of the latest landslides in Bududa district, are stranded at home after their primary schools failed to open on Monday.
More than 5,000 children in Bushiyi Sub County, the centre of the latest landslides in Bududa district, are stranded at home after their primary schools failed to open on Monday.

Some of the schools including Matuwa, Busibuya, Sakasaka, and Busamali primary schools have all the roof tops of their classroom blocks blown off by the hailstorm that preceded the landslides on Saturday.

Some classroom blocks at Busamali and Matuwa primary schools have also partially collapsed after being hit by boulders during landslides.

The affected schools are located within the centre of the landslides that ravaged 16 villages in the parishes of Matuwa, Namirumba, Bumayoka and Bushiyi in Bushiyi Sub County. The multiple landslides that were triggered by several days of torrential rains also killed one person, injured 18 others and destroyed hundreds of acres of crop gardens.

On Monday morning as other children from other neighboring areas went to school, most children from these schools remained at home as the schools have also been abandoned.

Most parents and teachers neighboring the schools, the survivors of the Saturday’s landslides, have all fled to their relatives and friends living in the lower slopes of Mt Elgon for safety.

Joseph Byokola, a parent says they could not stay to wait for another disaster, as these areas are considered highly risky.  He also fears that the continuous heavy rains might trigger another landslide any time.

John Baptist Nambeshe, the Bududa District local council chairperson, says they have asked those living in the affected areas to evacuate because of the heavy rains that have continued to pound the region.

Nambeshe says the schools will for now remain closed as long as it takes government to relocate people to areas considered safe.

He said in the meantime, the district has asked parents from these schools to temporarily take their children to nearby schools where they have taken refuge.

The development comes just about two weeks to the end of the second academic term on August 23rd.

Nambeshe says currently they are pushing government to implement the urbanization program that had earlier been agreed upon after the June 2012 landslides.

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