Floods in parts of eastern Uganda resulting from torrential rains have killed at least 24 people, the government and Uganda Red Cross said.
The flooding in parts of Bugisu, Mbale and Kapchorwa initially killed 10 people on Sunday, the state ministry in charge of relief, disaster preparedness and refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister said in a statement late on Sunday.
But the death toll rose further on Monday.
Uganda Red Cross spokesperson Irene Nakasita told reporters that so far rescuers had retrieved 21 bodies from Mbale and another three from Kapchorwa.
She said a truck carrying relief supplies was on its way to attend to those displaced in the affected areas.
The torrential rains come right after a prolonged drought in vast swaths of the country that has left many areas parched and crops in fields scorched.
Uganda’s eastern region is prone to flooding after heavy rains, but the whole country is vulnerable to natural disasters. Intense rainfall has led to many fatalities in the past. More than 30 people were killed and many more displaced when floods swept away homes in the country’s eastern Bududa district in 2018. Earlier in 2010, around 80 people were killed from intense landslides after a torrential downpour in Bududa, one of Uganda’s worst disasters in recent years.
More than 300,000 people have been affected by floods and landslides in Bududa and Sironko districts - both in eastern Uganda and Bundibugyo in the western region, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. An estimated 65,000 people have been displaced, the report added.