The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has forecast “enhanced” rains in various places this month, and has warned Ugandans to avoid environmentally sensitive areas.
According to UNMA, the areas predicted to receive increased precipitation are the South West, Mid Western, West Nile, and certain sections of the northern region.
“This implies possible floods, lighting, hailstorm and landslide episodes (in these areas),” UNMA warned in a statement.
Keith Muhakanizi, the permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, has now asked Ugandans who have lived in environmentally sensitive places to leave as soon as possible so that they do not become victims of what has been forecasted.
“Avoid settling or making any developments in environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, with buffer zones or river banks and / lake shores,” Muhakanizi said.
The permanent secretary also encouraged municipal and city authorities to intensify efforts to ensure proper solid waste management and disposal in order to reduce urban flooding risks.
“And in the event that it has flooded, communities are advised to avoid crossing flooded road sections at all times. It is advisable to wait until the water has receded,” Muhakanizi added.
Ugandans in the most vulnerable locations have also been urged to watch for any unusual sounds that could indicate shifting debris, like as trees breaking or boulders collapsing.
The warning comes just a few days after new landslides struck Kasese last Wednesday, killing at least 16 people.
According to Irene Nakasiita, a representative for the Uganda Red Cross, the tragedy was caused by torrential rains that fell on the area while people were asleep.
Floods have also hit some areas of northern Uganda and Eastern region this year.