Kasese has had lost lives plus homes as well as livelihoods caused by the river that burst its usual banks caused partly by people that tampered with the original river’s banks by either farming, mining or settling along them. This flooding has not only affected people but also the Uganda safari industry as tourists to Uganda tour attractions in this region cannot access then easily
Many people, who were residing in the currently affected area adjacent to Kilembe Mines Hospital, can only point at where their houses were located but all were washed away by the roaring floods. For many, not even remnants of their foundation can be identified.
Many residents thought that these were the usual sporadic floods common to area with the usual negligible effects. They simply locked the houses and went to the community centre or simply looked themselves in their houses hoping to get back to their usual lives after the heavy rains.
To many this turned out to be a night mare and the last time they set foot out and eyes to their houses. They lost assets, gardens, important documents, money but most important lives and some people were separated by the floods well as some are went missing.
When the river flooded on Sunday for the second time, residents were asked to cross the bridge that was showing signs of collapsing in a bid to make people vacate the risky areas. Those evacuating were promised free transport means in form of cars to drive them to Kasese town, but were not seen after they took the first round of people. Consequently, many stranded people slept on the verandahs of the nearby surviving shops in the area but also alongside roads.
The river between
River Nyamwamba flows from the Rwenzori Mountains,through Kilembe valley, Kasese Municipality, Queen Elizabeth National Park then pours its waters into Lake Edward.
This river is of great importance to people living along its banks plus the region at large and an anchor of their livelihood one can say. It provides water them with water for irrigation, Domestic use and building, and it greatly influences the regional climate.
Despite the fact that this during the heavy rainy season this river usually overflows ,the floods that have occurred this season were not expected.
This river was last seen flooding to a closer magnitude in 1964, when it broke its banks and destroyed the police houses, flowed into Kilembe mines hospital and the very last time it flooded before this one was in the 80s,but the destruction caused was not as gross as this time.
It is believed with certainty that the previous overflows of this river were caused by debris that tampered with the river’s course but this time many are not sure of what could have caused the current over flow. Many have raised possible causes of the flooding some claiming that the water could have over flown from the aquifers beneath the mines, where as others claim that this catastrophe happened because the river had not been sacrificed to, for a long period of time.
The most popular theory however, is that at the top of the Mount Rwenzori a great Uganda safari attraction, (the source of the flooding river) shone on the glaciers that in turn melted and the resultant water flowed into the craters that overflowed with water and gushed into the river.
The huge amount of water flowed down the Kilembe valley with high pressure, squeezing through a lot of debris in its course which it immensely rolled down at a high speed damaging the river banks badly hence releasing the waters into the unusual domains.
Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours article 2013