Bududa Landslide Orphans Living in Deplorable Conditions

2592 Views Bududa, Eastern Region, Uganda
46 children in Bududa, who lost their parents to a landslide on March 1st, are living in deplorable conditions at temporary camp set up for landslide victims. The children, most of them under the age of 15, have no one to look after them at the camp in Bulucheke. Like most people at the camp, they lost everything they had during the landslide. However unlike the rest, many of them are the sole survivors in their families and have nowhere to turn for help. At night the 46 children cram into one small tent that should ordinarily only house 15 people. Some of the children have much younger siblings and are forced to look for food and water for them. 16-year-old Sylvia Natondo says both her parents died in the landslide. She and her three siblings, one of them a 12-month-old baby, were lucky to survive. Natondo says the Red Cross gave her one small mattress on which her three siblings sleep. She says there is no extra space on the mattress or in the tent, so she spends the nights sleeping on the hard ground, outside in the cold. Natondo says she is worried about her future. Before the landslide, she had dropped out of school because her parents didn't have money for fees. However the harvest season was good and they had promised that she would return to school next term. //Cue in: "My parents told me ..." Cue out: "... thinking about education" // Lawrence Mumwata, a 67-year-old man, says he has been forced by circumstances to adopt his two grandchildren. The boys, Ivan Wanzama and Mer Wetunga, lost their parents in the landslide and he was their nearest surviving relative. Mumwata says his advanced age means he has no energy to fend for the children as he would wish. //Cue in: "The problem is poverty ..." Cue out: "...feeding is very poor."// The commandant of Bulucheke camp, Sam Wawiyo, says he is aware of the suffering of the orphans, but with limited aid supplies he cannot help them. //Cue in: "There is suffering ..." Cue out: "... very bad life."// It is estimated that 350 people were killed in the Bududa landslide.