Ntimba primary school and health workers at Kawongo Health Center III in
Ggaliraya Sub County in Kayunga district have decried the challenges of working
in flooded areas. Ntimba government primary school and Kawongo HCIII are
located in Ntimba parish, which was completely cut off from the rest of the
district by the rising water levels in Lake Kyoga two months back.
The two government institutions lack staff quarters. Both
teachers and health workers are currently spending huge sums of money to cross
from work in the flooded areas to their homes. Ntimba parish, which comprises Ntimba,
Kawongo landing site, Kyekidyo, Misozi and Namalere villages has been reclaimed
by water displacing over 600 people. To
access the parish, one uses a boat provided by Uganda National Roads
Authority-UNRA for residents to sail a distance of about 4kilometers crossing
through what used to be Bweyale village.
Hellen Namiiro, a midwife at Kawongo HCIII, says they used
to spend Shillings 2,000 on transport from their homes using Boda bodas but the
fare has since doubled to 4,000 since they also have to pay using the boat. She
says that when they miss the UNRA boat, they are forced to use private boats,
which charge Shillings 5,000. She says the government should consider signing
with them a new memorandum of understanding that involves hard to reach
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Esther Muwuliza, the Head Teacher Ntimba primary school notes that the
situation has forced them to start staying at school where they sleep in class
rooms. She wonders what will happen when all classes resume studies since they
lack staff quarters.
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Beatrice Samanya, a resident of Kawongo village, says the community needs
government’s support in terms of food supplies and accommodation facilities
such as camping tents. Many residents have taken shelter in Anglican and born
again churches and their friends’ homes.
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Kayunga District LC 5 Chairperson, Tom Sserwanga, says they laying strategies
with the Chief Administrative Officer to improve the lives of the government
workers in such areas.
“The situation is still alarming especially in parts surrounding Lake Kyoga
where about 1500 families have been displaced. The district disaster management
committee constantly updates the line ministry about the situation of our
people, they have supported us with some food relief but still it is not
enough. I appeal to other humanitarian bodies and people of good will to
continue coming to our rescue” Sserwanga said.
He says residents are financially
handicapped because their livestock and crops were destroyed by the floods. He says
the sanitary and hygiene situations in the area are also worrying since the
water sources and latrines were submerged.