Marine Police have so far rescued three people and recovered two bodies following flooding by River Mayanja in Wakiso district. River Mayanja burst its banks at Kawanda- Matuga along Bombo Road on Sunday morning following a heavy down pour.
It left a trail of destruction in Gobero, Gombe, Masulita and Kakiri Town Council. Several people were reported missing following the floods raising fears that they could have been swept by the turbulent waters.
They launched a manhunt for the missing persons in vain. A team of Marine police joined the search on Monday evening. Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, says police have rescued three people from Masulita Sub County including 11-year-old, Abdu Kawooya, a Boda-boda rider only identified as Paddy and another man who he is still unconscious.
"After learning about the tragedy we started a search for the victims. So far we have been able to rescue three people, all alive. These were found in the areas of Masulita in the swamp, where they were washed by the river," Owoyesigyire told URN in an interview.
He says two of the flood victims have been taken by their families for treatment. The third person flood victim is admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital. According to Owoyesigyire, the search for the more flood victims is still ongoing.
The deceased victims were recovered from Kireku in Bweyogerere. Police has only been able to identify one victim as 28-year-old George Lutalo, a resident of Kitoga in Buikwe district believed to be a boda boda rider.
His lifeless body was found lying next to a motorcycle registration number UDQ 825R. Matia Lwanga Bwanika, the Wakiso District LC V Chairperson, says although what happened was tragic, it conversely gives lessons to the people to vacate buffer zones, wetlands and the banks of river Mayanja.
Bwanika notes what happened cannot be called a disaster since they have always told the encroachers to leave such areas in vain.
//Cue in: "Katonda eyatonda…
Cue out...bakutunurira ng'omuyaaye."//
Residents have admitted being the root cause of the problem. Alex Mulindwa, a resident of Matuga, says the damage would have been minimal if residents hadn't reclaimed wetlands.
//Cue in: "bebasinze okumalawo ekitoogo…
Cue out…emirimu gyaffe."//
Several sub counties including Masulita, Kakiri and Mende are currently cut off because of the flooding. Uganda National Road Authority has dispatched a number of graders to help clear the blocked roads.
Betty Naluyima, the Wakiso District Vice Chairperson, says they are yet to convene a crisis meeting and engage stakeholders including concerned departments and ministries to see how best to help the affected communities.