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Hailstorm Wreaks Havoc in Rukungiri

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Allan Muhwezi, another victim says that poverty is lurking at their doors because, without food, development becomes difficult and hard. According to Muhwezi, the hailstorm seriously affected his 4-acre coffee plantation.
Hailstones infront of a residential premise in Rukungiri
About 1,500 families in Buhandagazi, Kanombe, Kyeshero and Rwenanura villages in Nyabitete parish in Buyanja Sub County in Rukungiri district are facing starvation following the destruction of their plantations and gardens by hailstorm.

 

The the hailstorm started around 05:00 pm and went on until 9 pm. It destroyed several gardens and plantations raising fears of food security. Emmy Rubondo Agaba, the Buyanja sub- county LC III chairperson, says that hailstorm destroyed gardens of maize, beans, cassava, potatoes, coffee and bananas among others. 

 

Rubondo wants the government to support the affected families with quick maturing seedlings to replace the destroyed crops. "The government should at least support us with quick maturing seedlings and some foodstuffs because we may see residents dying because of starvation,” Rubondo said. 

Jennifer Turyomunsi, one of the hailstorm victims, says that her 2acre of beans mixed with Maize was all destroyed, saying that she may fail to sustain her family in the next few months because she used a loan to plant the garden.

"We are going to starve and famine will hit us because nothing like a growing crop was left standing. If the government fails to come in the time we may not survive bank loans and sustaining our families," Turyomunsi said.   

 

Allan Muhwezi, another victim says that poverty is lurking at their doors because, without food, development becomes difficult and hard. According to Muhwezi, the hailstorm seriously affected his 4-acre coffee plantation. 

"Food is the beginning of development because families with food tend to develop at a high speed compared to ones without food because the money that they would have spent on buying food is used on developmental activities,” Muhwezi said. 

Emmanuel Kahigyiriza, another hailstorm victim says that after being affected seriously by the lockdown he decided to secure loans for farming because he is now stuck on how to service the loan because of the destruction resulting from the hailstorm.

"We were just recovering from the wounds of COVID-19 and now hit by a hailstorm. Some of us we hard-acquired loans from banks to join farming as an option. We are left with nothing to do but only God will help or some of us shall end up in jail,” Kahigyiriza said.     

Wilson Buhamire Ssalongo, the Buhandagazi LC I Chairperson revealed that over 300 households in his area were affected by the hailstorm. “We have already started registration of the victims because we badly need assistance from the government and our leaders at the district level," Buhamire said. 

 

Albert Mugisha Rwamugaata, the Buyanja Sub-county LC V councillor, says that his team has visited the affected areas to assess the damage and compile a report for appropriate action by different authorities. "My team visited the area affected families and it’s true they really need urgent assistance from the government or else we may lose lives because of famine and starvation," Mugisha noted. 

Geoffrey Kyomukama, the Rukungiri District LC V Chairperson told our report that he has already instructed the CAO and production office to do the needful such that the affected people are helped in time. "I want to say sorry to the people of Buyanja whose gardens were destroyed and hit by hailstorms. As the district, we are not seated and we shall do what it takes to support you,” he said. 

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