On the night of Saturday, October 14, 2023, a tornado struck Kirewe Island on Buvuma Island, leaving approximately 200 people without homes. The tornado was accompanied by heavy rain, lightning, and thunderstorms and lasted for about two hours, resulting in the destruction of numerous shops and drinking establishments in the area.
The chairperson of Kirewe Island, Ali Muwonge, described the event as a “Ensoke,” a local term for tornado, which often occurs when rain is accompanied by lightning and thunderstorms. This tornado caused extensive damage, reducing many houses to rubble and forcing residents to sleep in the open.
Lukayiyah Kabanda, one of the affected residents, shared how the storm not only tore the roof off his home but also destroyed his household belongings. Ismail Maganda, another affected resident, expressed the dire situation, stating that they had lost everything, including their shelter and food. He mentioned that even receiving tarpaulins for shelter would be greatly appreciated.
Buvuma County Member of Parliament, Robert Migadde, assured that he is collaborating with the district leadership to compile a list of victims for relief from the Office of the Prime Minister. He expressed his commitment to assisting all the affected residents in rebuilding their lives.
The incident occurred during what is typically the second major rain season in Uganda, which spans from August to December. Weather experts had previously predicted that the rain would be destructive in some regions, particularly in the central part of the country, and had urged the public to remain vigilant.
Over the past months, Uganda has experienced various disasters, including strong rainstorms, mudslides, lightning, and floods, leading to the loss of numerous lives and the destruction of crops and property worth billions of shillings.