At least five people have died and 38 are missing after landslides caused by heavy rains buried homes in eastern Uganda, the Red Cross and police officials said on Thursday.
Three children were among the dead in villages on the hills that form the Elgon range in Bududa district, according to the Uganda Red Cross.
More than 200 people have been displaced
The area’s police spokesman, Robert Tukei, told dpa that “many people have been killed in the landslides but we are yet to establish the exact numbers.”
Rivers in the area have also burst their banks, causing floods downstream, the Red Cross said.
Uganda and many other countries in East Africa have been hit by “unusually heavy rainfall and flooding,” according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).
More than 2.8 million people have now been affected and more than 280 have reportedly died, UN-OCHA said in an updated issued on Wednesday.
Almost half of the deaths were reported in Kenya.
“Across the region, homes, infrastructure and livelihoods have been destroyed and damaged in the hardest-hit areas, and the risk of communicable diseases – including cholera – is rising,” the UN agency warned.
The rainfall has been driven by a weather phenomenon known as the positive Indian Ocean Dipole. It is expected to diminish in the coming weeks, but “heavy rains are likely to persist into December and to intensify in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda,” it added.