HEAVY RAINS A THREAT TO REFUGEES

By William Elijah | Staff Writer

From last two weeks


Following the first phase of heavy rains in this rainy season that left a number of crops and few semi-permanent houses damaged in some areas within the settlement, residents have developed fear of loss of their property if at all this continues for a couple of months to come.

In the previous week, destructions were observed in villages like Mombasa, Kavule, Kagoma, Maratatu where by some of poorly built shelters for the newly settled refugees were left almost unroofed. More still, crops like bananas and cassava were put down by heavy storms in different parts of the settlement. It should be noted that Cassava and Banana plantations are now topping the list of sources of daily meals for many especially in this period of planting where food is scarce.

Due to the fact that there is shortage of jobs in this Covid-19 era, some refugees who were employed have now shifted their eyes to their gardens for food supply. However the strength of these stormy rains nowadays has minimized their anticipation for sustainability. Relatively, the food demand is high and very competitive as per now since all family members have gathered in their respective homes. For example those who used to work at distant places and students are now currently staying home with no choice and obviously need to feed themselves raising the volume of food consumed per day. This has left most parents in dilemma due to the fact that the burden of providing daily meals for their families is overwhelming and unexpected.

A resident of Mombasa village by the names of Bahati Solomon explained how his family greatly depends on the cassava plantation on his small plot for survival. “We used to uproot some for “Ugali’’ for consumption and sell, the leaves for “Sombe’’ and use the stems as firewood but now due to stormy rains all my cassava is down,’’ he said. This was the same situation with other residents who left their property due to similar reasons.

In conclusion, regardless of crop destruction that seemingly look as a ringing bell for hunger in days to come, if the rains keep as disastrous as they are, the shelters too won’t withstand these hazardous moments. Therefore we are calling upon the humanitarian agencies that are in charge of handling housing to show concern in regards to most vulnerable people such as the elderly, orphans, widows and those living with chronic diseases. This is because this category of individuals might find it difficult to build a house of their own due to the fact that many are now exposed to the risk of being hit by these rains. Most of the people in the above categories live in poor shelters not able to withstand heavy rain winds.

All people in the settlement and beyond are urged to make afforestation and reforestation a culture for we well know that trees perform a significant role in regard to controlling the stormy rains; reducing the speed of destructive winds


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