MBALE- A section of Members of Parliament in Bugisu Sub-region want landslide victims in Bududa District to be relocated and resettled only in the approved locations in the district.
Led by Mr John Baptist Nambeshe, (Manjiya County), the politicians say the decision by government to resettle victims in Bunamputye Sub-county in Bulambuli District should be shelved because the move would cause more deaths in future since the area swampy and prone to flooding.
The over 2,800 acres of land in Bulambuli District where landslide victims are likely to be resettled were bought by government in 2003.
“The landslide victims should not be relocated to Bulambuli because it would similar to lifting them from a frying pan to fire. It would be wrong to relocate people from one disaster hotspot to another,” Mr Nambeshe told journalists at Tsuume Village, Bukalasi Sub-county.
Most victims of the October 11 mudslides were residents of Tsuume Village.
Dozens of people were killed and over 800 people were left homeless when River Tsuume flooded.
Mr Nambeshe said the government should relocate the survivors and other people living in the landslide prone areas to various approved centres within the district, which he said, are safer.
“We have 19 locations which were approved in 2012 by a Cabinet Sub-committee, where the victims can be relocated and live safely,” he said.
Among the centres, which were suggested by the Bududa District Council and approved by the Cabinet Sub-committee, according to Mr Nambeshe, include among others; Namaitsu, Matenje, Bukari, Bubungi, Footo, Busanza, Nalwanza, Randa and Bubungi.
Mr Nambeshe said if the approved relocation areas are not enough to accommodate all the people, the government should use the approved Shs32 billion to buy land in other districts like Mbale, which are safer.
Cabinet recently approved Shs32 billion to be used in the relocation and resettlement exercise of people living in landslide prone areas in Bududa District to Bulambuli District.
Mbale Municipality MP, Mr Jack Wamanga, said the government is dragging its feet as far as resettlement of landslide victims in sub-region is concerned.
“This government does not care about the people because if it did, it would have not awaited for our people die again after the Nametsi landslides,” he said.
The 2010 Nametsi landslides left over 365 people dead and scores displaced.
Mr Paul Kitongo, a survivor said they welcome the relocation to safer places but it would be more helpful if they are relocated within the district because this can enable them to cultivate their land.
He said some people who were relocated to Kiryandongo District after the 2010 landslides returned home after failing to cope.
By Daily Monitor