Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni visited eastern Bududa on Sunday after 43 people died when a landslide caused a river to burst its banks, sending water and boulders cascading downhill.
Wearing military uniform and carrying a cleft stick Museveni looked across the Sume river at the remains of Wanjenwa village which was wrecked by a torrent of rocks carried down river by Thursday’s deluge.
“Who allowed them to build a market here?” he asked officials.
“Building on the flood plain of the river is very dangerous. Local government have failed to implement regulations,” Museveni told journalists.
After touring the site of devastation Museveni is set to address a crowd of several hundred residents, local dignitaries and Red Cross volunteers in Bukalasi village where many casualties were taken for treatment at the health centre.
Over 850 people were displaced in the disaster, caused by heavy rains.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda on Sunday updated a previous death toll by one person.
“We can confirm that 43 people have lost their lives but we are continuing to search for others,” he said.
In March 2010, at least 100 people were killed in the same mountainous region, which lies on the border between Uganda and Kenya and is a high-risk area for landslides.
Questioned about delays to a resettlement program which was initially announced in 2010, Rugunda blamed “minor administrative issues”.
Although there may be “delays here and there they do not change the principle that these people must be resettled,” he added.