Destroyed. Ms Flora Kugonza in her banana plantation that was destroyed by a hailstorm in Kyatwa village Bunyangabu district on Wednesday.

Destroyed. Ms Flora Kugonza in her banana plantation that was destroyed by a hailstorm in Kyatwa village Bunyangabu district on Wednesday.
A downpour accompanied by hailstorms has ravaged several parts of Bunyangabu District destroying more than 5,000 gardens.

Among the crop gardens that were destroyed include; beans, maize, cassava, coffee, Irish potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, sorghum and onions that were ready for harvesting. Goats, too, were not spared by the rain.

Ms Jackline Chance, a mother of seven children in Kyatwa Village, Kibiito Town Council, said Bunyangabu residents depend on agriculture for a living.

Ms Chance on Monday survived death after part of her house was destroyed by wind.

(NB Video report starts at the 6.50 minute mark)


"The heavy hailstorm left me with nothing to eat because all my gardens were washed away. We have gone for two days without supper," she said.

She said all the families in Kibiito were affected and they have not been helped by district leaders.

Mr Charles Balinda said he had injected more than Shs1 million in his three acres of tomatoes but they were all destroyed by rain.

"Part of the money I used to plant tomatoes was a loan of Shs2 million from Centenary Bank which I had not paid. I was expecting to get over Shs4 million after harvesting and be able to pay the loan and look after my family," Balinda said.

According to residents the affected areas include; Kyamukube, Kibiito Sub-county and villages of Bubuika, Kyatwa, Kyatwa East Mujuju, Kyakahinda and Gatyanga, among others.

The cost of food such as posho, beans and rice prices have increased due to limited supply of food in the market.

The price of the 25kg bag of Posho in Kibiito Town Council is now at Shs45,000 from Shs35,000 in a period of three days.

The marketing and production officer at Bunyangabu, Ms Agnes Tumushabe, said government needs to supply the people with first growing crops to fight hunger.

Ms Tumushabe said in the coming three months people will have nothing to eat since all their gardens were destroyed by rain.

"As district we want our Members of Parliament to request Ministry of Agriculture to supply our people with Irish potatoes that grow first within three months and also see that our people receive relief food," she said.

The district LC5 chairman, Mr James Ategeka, said they are recording constraints to help people by providing relief food to fight hunger.

"Hunger will kill our people if there is no intervention from government because as district we can not manage this disaster," Mr Ategeka said.

Warning

Last week during the National Metrological Day celebrations in Fort Portal Town, the executive director of Uganda National Meteorological Authority, Dr Festus Luboyera, said from the March to May the country will be receiving rain and that farmers need to do early preparations.