Update on the Kasese Floods
20 May 2020
In 2011, a community of Ugandan humanists founded a school in Kasese, Uganda, where religious-based education isthe norm. Kasese was recently hit with devastating floods, to which FBB has responded by launching a fundraiser to help Kasese Humanist School recover.
In this blog entry, the school's director Bwambale Robert has shared an update on how his community is handling the situation cased by the floods.
Kasese is calm after the floods, the once flooded areas are now leaving a whitish fine sand dust, the rains are not all that strong now but the affected persons or families— especially those hit hardest— have been put in several camps around Kasese's suburbs. Some schools and churches have provided shelters to homeless people.
Since the first disastrous floods were reported the night of May 7th, the river flooded terribly on the second day of the 8th, and since then flooding is on-and-off with fluctuating river waters. A rainy season is still on, likely to end in Early June this year.
Most of Kilembe's residents ran for their dear lives with others joining their relatives in town, while others climbed to their hilly countryside village homes. Kilembe Hospital has been relocated from Kilembe to a safer place in Kasese, and it seems like the management is relocating this hospital for good.
It should be noted that the Kasese Humanist School Rukoki campus borders the Nyamwamba river on its western end, but the school is on a rather raised land overlooking the river. All the major floods have always avoided the school land, but this recent one splashed some of its waters and swept some of our crops.
The affected families who have been put in the camps are being assisted by kind-hearted people providing home use utensils, soap, food, sanitary, and oral hygiene items. Several relief agencies like Rotary International and Red Cross Society as well as people in the general public are donating anything they can to repair the situation displaced people are in.
Some of our parents had their houses damaged, household items destroyed by the flood waters, belongings and reared animals (like goats, rabbits, and chickens) lost in the floods. The situation they are in is alarming.
We managed to help some five badly-affected families by giving them shelter at our Rukoki campus. Those we assisted had their houses submerged or swept away, but soon they will be going back since the level has gone down, meaning they can remove the mud and do some house repairs.
Several locals are being seen trying to place sandbags filled with soil to act as levees to bounce back the water. Water channels have been widened and trenches are being created by the people in fear of another water attack on their houses.
During the floods, there was a deposition of sand and stones on the river banks near the Kasese Humanist School. I have so far made several trips to ferry deposited sand and stones that came in the last time there were floods, and I have heaped them at the school to help with future constructions.
I will be adding more trees on our Kilembe road property where I have been planting fruit trees, bamboos and cocoa plants. This time I am going to add hundreds of eucalyptus trees with a mission to create a bigger forest. As for the crop garden in Kilembe, that was partly swept. I will have to wait for a month when the rains have ceased to put the garden back in order.
The COVID-19 lockdown is still on, extended for 21 more days. But some good news is that there is a possibility of reopening candidate classes at the schools sometime soon in early June. Some businesses were cleared to operate while keeping in line with physical distancing and mandatory facemasks, plus other COVID-19 preventive guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health and WHO.
All in all, our people need assistance of any kind. Our government is dishing out food, but in sincerity it has failed to feed all the people. Many of our people are not working right now; those who are doing business are short of customers since purchasing power is low and food relief is needed this time.
We remain optimistic, though, that the situation will go back to normal and people will go on with their daily obligations.
On a special note, I thank all the donors who have contributed generously to our ongoing fundraiser to aid Kasese Humanist School in response to the damages caused by the floods and the effects of COVID-19 on our staff, children, and their families. I remain optimistic that we shall achieve our goal.
With Science, We Can Progress.