Heavy rains and consequent flooding and landslides have left at least 65 people dead across Uganda as of Thursday, December 19. Widespread flooding and landslides have severely affected 13 districts in Uganda notably the Rwenzori sub-region in western Uganda and the Mount-Elgon sub-region in eastern Uganda. The capital Kampala has also been affected. At least 65,250 people have also been displaced as a result of the flooding.
Authorities have advised residents to move away from areas by rivers and streams that have risen above their banks and cautioned that the death toll is likely to rise as search-and-rescue efforts continue. The Red Cross warned about the risk of disease outbreaks such as cholera and malaria in flood-hit areas.
Additional flooding, landslides, and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected in areas affected by heavy rainfall over the near term.
East Africa has recently experienced a bout of unseasonably heavy rainfall due to higher-than-average water temperatures in the Indian Ocean, which is partially attributed to a larger, global phenomenon of rising ocean temperatures.
Individuals in Uganda are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid flooding- and landslide-affected areas, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders).