Yusuf Alli – Cii News & Agencies, Pic: Isaac Kasamani / AFP – Getty Images – June 27, 2012
The search for survivors has been called off in eastern Uganda after landslides, on Monday, swept through four villages during the countries rainy seasons.
Despite Stephen Mallinga, the Minister for Disaster and Relief, telling a news conference that at least 30 people were presumed dead after the landslides, local member of parliament, David Wakikona, said that up to 100 people could have been buried.
The minister said “We cannot find the bodies because they were buried very deep into the soil. Recovering the bodies and searching for the survivors will take some time, and so we have called it off.”
If that wasn’t enough, Mallinga added,”There is no hope of finding any more survivors.”
Despite the high number of people reported dead and feared missing, the number could have been much higher asmany people were not at home when disaster struck, as adults were at a marketplace that was not affected and children were in school.
A government programme has seen thousands of people evacuating the area to avoid any pending disasters but many have chosen to stay because of family and cultural ties to the region.
Environmentalists say deforestation has caused the soil to become fine and prone to movement.
Meanwhile AFP reported that forty-two migrants from Malawi were found dead in a truck in central Tanzania, having perished from asphyxiation, Deputy Interior Minister Pereira Silima said on Tuesday.
“They died of suffocation and had no food,” Silima said.
“There were more than 100 people in the truck,” a local administration official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“After he had learnt of the dead bodies, the driver abandoned the truck and ran away.”
The bodies were discovered in the truck in Dodoma province, about 400km west of Dar es Salaam.
In December, 20 Somali immigrants were found dead in Tanzania.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Isaac Nantanga said at the time that an increasing number of Ethiopians and Somalis were crossing the country to make their way to South Africa, the continent’s top economy.Tags: landslides, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda