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Floods Destroy Over 200 Gardens in Abim District: Residents Left Homeless Amidst the Pandemic

By Beatrice Achan

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The victims of floods showing one of the affected gardens in Otolokori village, Adeya parish in Morulem Sub County, Abim district.

Floods have destroyed over 200 gardens and displaced hundreds in Otolokori village, Adeya parish in Morulem Sub County, Abim district.

The floods are as a result of continuous rains and gardens of cassava, maize, ground nuts and other food crops have been destroyed. The water has also demolished houses leaving many residents homeless and seeking refuge in other households.

Johnson Opedun, the LCI Chairperson for Otolokori village says his village is under misery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and now, many people have resorted to sleeping in neighbouring schools and renting small rooms in trading centers.

“The floods have destroyed crops, and forced out many from homes. We have nowhere to sundry the cassava that we are uprooting from the flooded gardens. Survival is hard especially for those with large families. We call upon the government to come and rescue us,” cried Opedun.

Charles Emesu, one of the victims, said the water has invaded them and forced them out of their homes and mosquitoes are have also increased in the area.

“I have rented a small room in the trading center that cannot accommodate me with my children and there are so many mosquitos,” said Emesu.

Stella Idelet, a mother of 10 told Aica that she barely gets her children what to eat and they lack beddings, the flour of the house is so cold and they have run hopeless.

“In fact the situation here is not favouring at all. We cannot even set fire since the whole place is cold, we don’t have beddings to use we just use grass. Sometimes my children and I sleep hungry I do not know what to do with my children,” cried Idelet.

Stella Ideet with her children in their flooded garden of ground sweet potatoes in Otolokori village, Adeya parish, Morulem Sub County, Abim district.

Many affected victims cried out, saying they are not even worried about COVID-19 but are asking the government to come to their rescue with mosquito nets because their lives are at risk of Malaria outbreak.

Currently, Abim district has two confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 people have been put to isolation.

Mr SseSezelino Opio, the LC 3 NRM Flag bearer for Moru Lemu Sub County has also asked government to rescue the people of Otolokori.

Opio says the urgent items the affected people need include tents for drying cassava and ground nuts, nets for preventing people from Malaria and some food items for those who now live in schools.

“The water logging is breeding mosquitoes which is a threat to people’s lives and they do not have nets. We have tried to register people who are affected by the floods for help to the district but there is no response,” said Opio.

The Impending Doom

As floods wreak havoc across the country, the Food and Agricultural Organization [FAO] has also warned of severe drought between the months of November 2020 to February 2021 that will cause food scarcity in the country.

Dr Emmanuel Zziwa, the climate change expert at FAO country office told the media last week that several districts like Kabale, Luwero, Amolatar, and Katakwi are already experiencing disastrous heat waves that affect agricultural productivity.

“The prediction of the drought that is expected to occur from November to February 2021 was made by Uganda Meteorological Authority,” he said.

The FAO has distributed 190 motorcycles to 29 local governments in the cattle corridor. West Nile and Karamoja sub regions, where Abim is part of.

The Agricultural extension workers in the 29 beneficiary districts are expected to use the motorcycles to reach out to farmers and increase awareness on climate change interventions such as planting trees and water conservations.

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