Red Cross: 10 dead in floods in hilly eastern Uganda

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KAMPALA, Uganda (TBEN) – Heavy rains in hilly eastern Uganda caused flooding that burst riverbanks and flooded homes and roads, killing at least 10 people, the Red Cross said on Sunday.

The victims of Saturday night’s downpour lived in the neighboring districts of Kapchorwa and Mbale. Videos of the scene showed terrified people squirming for safety as water levels rose in a village, houses toppled and banana trees were cut down.

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The death toll is likely to rise, with local reporters saying they have seen bodies washed away by the deluge.

“This disaster is due to environmental degradation,” Ugandan Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja told reporters from Mbale, adding that Ugandan security officials have been called in to assist in rescue efforts. “How many people die this way?”

More problems are feared as the rainy season has just started.

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Mbale and nearby districts are particularly vulnerable to flood deaths, as many residents have built homes on the banks of the river and in the rugged foothills of Mount Elgon.

While hundreds over the years have heeded the government’s call to move, some continue to resist, saying they don’t feel comfortable leaving their ancestral lands.

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