Media blamed for being unfair in covering Kagera earthquake

By Khamar Kashoro.

Rural earthquake survivors say the local media has failed to report fatalities in Kagera rural villages saying the government might rely on wrong data which are available only in Bukoba Municipality

They say the journalists are spending day and night in town writing stories about what is happening in town without visiting affected villages in rural Kagera especially in Bukoba rural and Misenyi Districts

“I’ve heard through the media that the dead were 17, I don’t think if that its true because in our village three people died and were not taken to Kaitaba Stadium, they were buried here. I didn’t here this in any radio station or TV station” said Jane Martin (25) a resident of Kanyigo ward in Misenyi District

She said in Kanyigo for instance, most of houses have big cracks and must be pulled down in order to avoid more fatalities so people now sleep outside their houses a situation that threaten their life

“Most of us sleep with children in banana farms or others have shifted to cattle-pen because we are afraid of collapsing buildings or sometimes we think that the earthquake may come back” she said

Jovinus Sebastinian (15) sleeps in poultry shed with his young sisters outside his collapsed father’s house in Kashenye village says the situation at night their bodies freeze due to breeze from Lake Victoria

“As you can see we sleep outside, we don’t even want to pass near our house and the kitchen because we are afraid of collapsing buildings” he said

It is believed that more than 2,000 homes and buildings were damaged by the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit on Saturday 10 September, killing at least 17, injuring more than 200, and leaving hundreds of families homeless but survivors say the number of fatalities may be high than what is mentioned by the government officials and politicians