Monday, May 30, 2011

Hailstorm hits 20 Villages Namutumba, Africa - 30th May 2011

About 40 houses had their roofs blown off and hundreds of acres of crops destroyed when a hailstorm hit Namutumba District. The two-hour hailstorm on Thursday hit 20 villages including Isegero A and B, Ndikitwamaila, Namukoge, Busene, Nabikenge, Bakudumira, Nawampiti, Kibaale and Kivule. Domestic animals and birds were also killed. Eight hours after the downpour, ice blocks were still visible on the ground.

In Nsinze Sub-county, several plantations under the Naads programme were destroyed. Mr Richard Kayingo, the sub-county NAADS coordinator, while touring the plantations, said the government should provide relief aid, including seeds, to farmers. “This is horrible. It is a total destruction and there is no hope for farmers to have any harvest this season,” he said.

Most of the crops were left with two months to mature but farmers’ hope of a fruitful harvest has been dashed.“We have nothing to do right now. We don’t have seeds. The affected families should be given food aid for three months as they wait for the new season,” Mr Kayingo said.

Residents have also appealed to non-governmental organisations to come to their aid.
‘No mangoes for lunch’
“My family has been depending on mangoes for lunch and breakfast. We have been eating food only at supper. But now that the hailstorms have destroyed the mangoes, I don’t know how my family of 15 will survive,” said Moses Nabongo of Isegero village. The area councillor, Mr George Damba, asked government to provide temporary shelter to the affected families.

The Chief Administrative Officer, Mr David Kawoya, said he has set up a team to assess the magnitude of the damage. “I have set up a team led by the district agriculture officer to establish the actual number of people affected and the acreage of the plantations destroyed so that we forward the report to the ministry of disaster preparedness for redress,” he said. Two people sustained serious injuries when a building collapsed on them during the downpour and were admitted to Nsinze Health Centre IV. Source