John Bosco Akore, the secretary Kotido Elder’s Council told URN that the severe shortage of food has led to widespread malnutrition, which caused the death of 58 children and elderly people between May and June this year.
Fifty-eight people in Kotido district have reportedly died of hunger between
May and June this year due to the food crisis in the Karamoja sub-region.
A report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification(IPC) indicates
that about 518000 people approximately 40percent of the population in the
Karamoja sub-region, are facing high levels of food insecurity.
John Bosco Akore, the secretary Kotido Elder’s
Council told URN that the severe shortage of food has led to widespread
malnutrition, which caused the death of 58 children and elderly people between
May and June this year.
According to Akore, the deaths were reported from eleven
villages across Kotido district, adding that another and 292 people are on the
verge of death if no action is taken. He warns that without immediate
support from the government, the number of people dying from hunger could
double before the harvest period expected in August.
‘’The victims of drought and insecurity are
desperately in need of food relief. I call upon the government and any other
development partners to intervene to save our people’’ Akore pleaded. He observes that some families were forced to
consume their seed stock distributed by the government and have nothing to
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Joyce Nachu, a mother of 7 children residing in Kacheri
village in Kotido district, says that her children are suffering from severe
malnourishment as hunger continues to sweep the region. Nachu notes that the food crisis resulted from
poor harvest, adding that the prevailing insecurity has worsened the situation
since it has blocked them from engaging in money activities.
‘’We always burn charcoal and collect firewood
to sell to get money for food but since the insecurity escalated we can no
longer go to the bush. Armed warriors have taken charge of the jungle, you go
there they kill you, so we are just locked at home,’’ Nachu narrated.
She noted that there is a need to address
insecurity because it’s the main driver of hunger, which drives the raiders to
cause havoc in the community. Paul Komol Lotee, the Kotido LC V
chairperson has confirmed the mortalities, saying that the figures could be
much higher since other deaths are not reported.
Komol said although
they received some relief food, the number of people experiencing extreme
hunger in the entire district has doubled because of the poor harvest last year. He said the entire population in Kotido goes
without food for the whole day, which has forced children to resort to begging
in restaurants around town.
Komol says that everyone in the
district including himself lives at crisis levels of food security, a disaster
that needs urgent attention.
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Early this week, the permanent secretary in the
office of the prime minister (OPM), Keith Muhakanizi said that the government
will direct more funding towards the hunger crisis in Karamoja and Teso sub-regions.