Joseph Lomongin, the Kotido Chief Administrative Officer, says about 60% of the households in Kotido are facing food shortage. He says last year’s floods destroyed several crop gardens in the district.
Karimojong women lining up to recieve relief Food in Kawanakol sub county in Kotido to receive food brought by OPM last month
families across Karamoja region are one the verge of starvation due to severe
food shortage. Although this isn’t the first time the region is experiencing
food shortage, the current situation is worse owing to last year’s floods and the
nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, which forced families to
sell the little available food to meet some of their needs.
available information, some families in Kotido, Kaabong, Napak, Moroto and
Amudat districts live on a single meal a day. Joseph Lomongin, the Kotido Chief
Administrative Officer, says about 60% of the households in Kotido are facing
food shortage. He says last year’s floods destroyed several crop gardens in the
district. Lomongin also says that during the lockdown, several families sold
the little food they had stored to meet some of their domestic needs since
movement was restricted.
"People are not safe and it’s not only here in Kotido but in the entire
region. It’s now worse with the resurrection of cattle rustling," he said.
Lomongin said although the Office of the Prime Minister-OPM sent some food
targeting the most vulnerable persons, the situation is not good and needs urgent
Christine Akot, the Moroto District LC V Vice Chairperson, says most families
have resorted to eating wild fruits. She says that much as the OPM distributed
some food relief recently it could not reach to every household. "This
year we are most likely to lose people due to hunger should there be no immediate
action from the government and development partners," she said.
According to Akot, some breast feeding mothers are forced to eat residue with
young children something she said isn’t healthy for the mother who have just
given birth. Samson Lokeris, the Dodoth East Member of parliament in Kaabong
district, says the most affected sub counties in Kaabong district are Loyoro,
Timu, Sidon and Kaabong town council.
"The entire Karamoja region needs urgent food relief otherwise people are
going to die of hunger," he said. According to Lokeris, over 40, 000
households in the entire region have no food. Matilida Nachan, a mother of six and a resident of Sidok village in Sidok Sub
County in Kaabong district, says the government should come to their
rescue as they only survive on bitter wild fruits.
“We don’t know how the
situation will be in the next one month if government will not come to our
rescue,” he said. Remigio Achia, the Pian County MP in Nabilatuk district, says
half of the district was hit by floods and locusts last year. "We have
raised this at very many forums about the looming hunger in Karamoja and the government
needs to address the situation before it gets out of hands," he said.
Joseph Lomonyang, the Napak LC V Chairperson, says five sub counties in the
district are seriously affected and need argent food distribution. He said
Napak district, which has been a food basket for the sub-region is desperate
for food following the total crop failure last year resulting from
look at the sub counties such as Lotome, Ngoleriet, Matany, Lopei, and
Lorengechora people are starving we don’t need to wait and register
death,” he said. Marrio Tengei, the Nakapiripirit District Production Officer,
says despite the fact that residents tried to cultivate food their crops did
not do well.
“Initially this would be the time when people begin preparing
their gardens but right now everyone is weak, people are sleeping
with hunger and lack energy to work in the garden,” he said community.