Hailstorm Destroys Crops, Houses In Amuria District

By Beatrice Achan

A woman standing next to her house which was destroyed by the rains in Atakia village. PHOTO BY BEATRICE ACHAN

A heavy down pour that lasted two hours with hailstorm and strong winds has destroyed crops and demolished houses including a community school of Atakia Primary school In Abia sub county Amuria District.

Stephen Ebenu, a farmer from Atakia village who lost two acres of rice told Aica that rice growing is his major source of income.

“I went early morning to my rice gardens to see if my efforts survived the disaster, but when I reached, I found all the rice destroyed and there is nothing to get out of it. I was expecting to get money for paying my children’s school fess,” cried Ebenu.

Ebenu has children who are in candidate classes and one is a finalist at University and are expected to return to school on 15th October, 2020.

Three of his grass thatched houses, included a cassava store have also been destroyed.

“My 10 gardens of cassava have all been destroyed and I don’t know what to get out of it, including my maize garden,” added Ebenu.

It has been raining on average of two hours per day in the past five days and there are visible signs of floods coming up soon.

In a similar story, Robert Iko from Atakia village also lost all his household property and one of his children got injured when the nearby tree fell on the house.

“The strong wind lifted the nearby tree and hit it on my children’s house and five chicken died,” said Iko.

Omoding Peter Oron, the LCI Chairperson for Atakia village, told Aica the heavy rain with hailstorm left a lot of damage in his village.

“All crops were left lying on the ground and most houses were demolished. Our Primary school also lost its roof and I call upon the office of disaster and preparedness to come to the rescue of the people,” the Chairperson said.

Mr Omoding added that he is foreseeing hunger in his community since all crops including maize, cassava, soya bean, rice were destroyed by the storms.

“There is nothing left and even the school that parents tried to build has been destroyed. It doesn’t even look like a school anymore,” he said.

John Alanyu, the LCIII of Abia sub county said all crops planted in the second season across the sub county have been destroyed.

He added that the Agricultural Officer for Amuria district has since promised to get to the ground and produce a report to forward to the Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Disaster and Preparedness.

Mr Alanyu however urged all people to replant cassava because the destroyed one cannot help anymore.

“The most affected villages are Orebai, Atakia, Opolin, Abia, Okokorin, Agwara, Otuboi and Orenkipi, all in Abia Sub County,” disclosed the Chairperson.

He added that, “people are now trying pick beans, soya peas all from the ground. I have never seen such disaster since I was born.”

A destroyed garden of Cassava. PHOTO BY BEATRICE ACHAN

David Ewayu,the councillor representing Abiya at the district, told Aica that the incident has the locals in shock and he has confirmed that more than 100 gardens have been destroyed and over 40 houses demolished by the strong winds.

“Even the huge trees have been thrown down and that is why I am requesting the NGOs that can to help our people to come and save the situation,” Ewayu said.

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Aica Media [pronounced as Aicha- an Ateso word which means Light] is a for profit youth driven media initiative in Uganda, with an aim to advocate for acceleration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through media. Started in 2019, Aica seeks to inspire media practitioners to leverage their knowledge and resources to advance the SDGs by disseminating facts, human stories and solutions. Aica is authorized to do online data communication and publication by the Uganda Communications Commission and we are a member organization in the Uganda Youth Coalition for SDGs.

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