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At least 24 people have died after flash floods hit eastern Uganda on Sunday.
The flooding occurred after two banks in the city of Mbale burst amid heavy rainfall. More than 5,600 people have been displaced. The floods submerged thousands of homes and shops, leaving as many as 400,000 people without clean water.
The government has been fast to act, working alongside humanitarian aid agencies to distribute emergency supplies.
“Many have lost everything and have had barely anything to eat over the last few days. There are small children who don’t have a change of clothes and many families are still looking for their loved ones,” said Joseph Ssenkumba, of the Association of Ambulance Professionals Uganda, per The Guardian.
The Uganda Red Cross Society shared an update on Twitter, announcing they had “come in timely to give some relief including shelter kits to enable them set up shelters.”
The rains have subsided, but 5,000 acres of agriculture have been left in ruins. Vast livestock and domestic animal losses also were reported. The flash floods come on the heels of a prolonged drought in large parts of the country that has left many areas and crops in fields parched.
Last month, more than 200 people died from hunger in northeastern Uganda, where the prolonged drought left more than half a million facing starvation.
“We must meet the current humanitarian needs now if we are to avert an even bigger crisis in six months’ time,” Sean Granville-Ross, Africa regional director for the aid agency Mercy Corps, told The New Humanitarian.