By Godfrey Olukya
KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) - At least 20 people have been killed in eastern Ugandan district of Buyende after their homes were destroyed by a heavy rainstorm, officials said.
“Three sub-counties of Buyende district were last night hit by a heavy rainstorm which destroyed over 200 houses. Over 20 people died after being hit by debris from destroyed houses,” William Kiiza, leader of Buyende district, told Anadolu Agency.
He said the heavy rains came after a long spell of drought, which led to the drying of food crops.
Steven Wagumale, chairman of Kidera, one of the affected sub-county, said: “It started raining heavily at 8.00 p.m. local time (1700GMT) and it lasted for 3 hours. By the time the rain stopped, wailing and cries could be heard in the village.”
He said that over 200 people were also injured in different rain-related incidents.
''We appeal to the government to help us with shelter and food. Our houses and food crops have been destroyed and we urgently need assistance,'' said Gregory Wanyama, a resident in the area whose house was destroyed.
Environmentalists in Uganda have often warned Ugandans against cutting down trees in order to make charcoal saying it would bring about wild winds and hailstorm during rainy seasons.