More than a thousand people were left homeless after floods and landslides that hit Kasese district in May 2024, leaving many displaced and in dire need of shelter, food and safety.

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Mbambu Midias, 40 y/o mother of 8, stands outside her makeshift shelter built out of dry banana leaves at Nyambuko temporary Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Kasese district, her home was destroyed by the landslides in May 2024.

Kasese district was hit by floods and landslides after heavy rainfall for several days, eight rivers in Kasese district burst their banks including river Nyamwamba, Nyamugasani, Rwembyo, Kabiri, Isule, Hima, Kuruhe, and Muhokya.

The forcibly displaced persons are currently staying in temporary camps that are scattered across the district mainly in schools and at church buildings.

Mbambu is a 40-year-old mother of 8 children. She is a resident of Nyambuko in Kasese district, her house was destroyed by a landslide, she currently lives in a temporary camp at Nyambuko SDA church, the church administration allowed the displaced persons to build makeshift houses around the compound. Mbambu calmly and painfully recounted her story.

She described the night in May 2024 when a heavy rainfall led to a landslide that destroyed her house.

“It had rained all day and I was at my home that evening cooking, when I heard crushing bricks in the bedroom, I ran outside the house to check what had happened, to my shock land was covering part of my house and cracks were visible on the other side that was still standing, I carried my younger children and asked others to follow me, we ran down the mountain in the heavy rain, we would see a bigger group of people across in the valley at Nyambuku primary school.” Mbambu recalled.

Mbambu joined other people who had lost their houses due to the landslides, they had all converged at Nyambuku primary school, they slept in classrooms for a couple of days, but children also needed the classes for studying.

They were able to put up small dry banana leaves-houses, where they currently sleep. These houses get extremely cold at night and they lack blankets and other warm clothing, these people, especially children are at a high risk of contracting cold weather related sicknesses.

The displaced communities are living in poor conditions, they lack food, warm clothing, WASH items, lighting at the camp among other essential items.

A young boy drinks water from a tap at Nyambuko IDP Camp, the tap is connected to a sky hydrant ultrafiltration water system, and the water is safe for drinking.

Care and Assistance for Forced Migrants (CAFOMI) in partnership with Malteser International with funds from German Federal Foreign Office, is currently providing drinking water to the affected persons. But more support is required, CAFOMI seeks for support both in-kind donations and Cash to assist the affected communities.

CAFOMI and the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Research Chair on Forced Displacement also conducted a community outreach program at the IDP camp. Focus of the discussion during the outreach was on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the affected persons were trained on climate change, adaptation and mitigation with emphasis on sustainable management of land and the environment.

Climate change is displacing thousands of people in Uganda, leading to the rise of climate refugees. We need to raise awareness about their plight and the urgent need for action.

By Nicholas Shawn Mugarura, Author is a Communications Assistant at CAFOMI.

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