Scores Injured, Homeless as Cyclonic Tornado Hits Kalangala Island

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Hundreds of residents at Nakibanga landing site on Bukasa Island in Kalangala District are grappling with the aftermath of a devastating tornado that struck on Wednesday morning.

According to local newspaper reports, the cyclonic winds left at least 50 islanders homeless and caused extensive damage to properties, including shops, restaurants, drinking joints, and a school. Two residents sustained injuries in the chaos.

Kenneth Kuteesa, the chairperson of Nakibanga Village, described the event as a funnel-shaped white smock that descended from the skies shortly after 10 am, during a rainstorm. Residents refer to this phenomenon as “Ensoke” (tornado).

“One resident, known as Mama Kigere, suffered a leg injury from a flying iron sheet as she fled. Another resident, Ms. Kalyango, sustained a broken leg from falling debris during the incident. Both survivors are currently receiving medical treatment at Bukasa Health Centre IV,” Kuteesa explained.

Ms. Teopista Nakyejwe, whose wooden house was swept 10 meters away, expressed her financial distress over rebuilding and appealed for government intervention.

Mr. Julius Sekabiira, the proprietor of Precious Infant School, announced that the school would remain closed until next Monday to facilitate repairs of the damaged property.

“Our kitchen was destroyed, and utensils were thrown meters away. The toilet is in shambles. We cannot reopen the school until we address these issues,” Sekabiira stated. The school’s four-classroom structure was deroofed, with the iron sheets ending up in the lake.

Mr. Francis Kiyaga, a landlord, lamented the destruction of three of his wooden houses and his garden, emphasizing the financial burden of rebuilding.

“My houses are gone, and the garden is ruined. I now need to find money to replace everything,” Kiyaga expressed.

Joshua Wafumbwa, the district councillor for Kyamuswa Sub-county, urged landlords to allow residents to construct permanent houses, citing the vulnerability of wooden structures to such natural disasters.

“A lot of properties in Kalangala are being destroyed because our people lack permanent occupancy on the land. This is why many houses on landing sites and islands are made of wood,” Wafumbwa explained.

David Omongot, the Kalangala District disaster focal person, confirmed that they are preparing an assessment report to seek government relief assistance for the affected victims.

“We are finalizing the assessment report, which will be submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister for possible assistance to the affected households and business owners,” Omongot stated.

Source: Monitor

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