50,000 Ugandans affected by floods

Flooding in eastern Uganda has forced 2,000 people from their homes and affected 50,000 during the heaviest rains there for 35 years, humanitarian agencies said today.

Flooding in eastern Uganda has forced 2,000 people from their homes and affected 50,000 during the heaviest rains there for 35 years, humanitarian agencies said today.

Unusually heavy rains have fallen since late July with nearly 4,000 households reporting damage to food crops, raising concerns the harvest will be seriously affected, according to initial UN assessments.

“These are the heaviest rains eastern Uganda has experienced in 35 years,” said Kristen Knutson, spokeswoman at the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Landslides have been reported in some areas and Knutson said the number of affected households was expected to rise.

Flood waters have contaminated springs, boreholes and wells for thousands of Ugandans, and many people reported being too afraid to use latrines in case they collapsed, the UN said.

Though no outbreaks of infectious diseases have been confirmed, the conditions heightened the risks of malaria, diarrhoea, skin diseases, chest infections and intestinal diseases. The Government of Uganda and the UN are sending teams to the affected areas.

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