The more than 23, 000 victims of the recent mudslides in Kaabong district have started a new phase of life at their Internally Displaced Peopleâ€™s Camp at Kawalakol trading center.
The more than 23, 000 victims of the recent mudslides in Kaabong district have started a new phase of life at their Internally Displaced People’s Camp at Kawalakol trading center.
The victims were two weeks ago forcefully relocated from the slopes of Kaabong hill where the rockslide killed seven people and left several others injured early this month.
The victims tried to resist the relocation accusing government of neglecting their plight. They argued that they could not leave their crops which are just about to mature before they harvest them.
They also claimed they were unable to go to the new site because of lack of basic human necessities like food and tents for constructing temporary accommodation.
However, concerned with the continued heavy rains which have persisted in the region, government and the district authorities who feared it could cause more deaths jointly used police and the army to force people to relocate to a safer flat area of Kawalakol Sub County.
Some of the victims who say they have no option seem to be coping up with the life in Internally Displaced Camp.
They have resorted to farming with majority putting much emphasis on fast maturing food crops like tomatoes, cabbages and mainly vegetables to rescue them from hunger, which they blamed on the poor harvest due to the devastating rains.
Peter Midi Komol, the district LC V chairman says the Office of the Prime Minister has so far opened more than 250 hectares of farmland for the victims through the Tractor Farm Program.
Simon Lokilo, a father of seven says he has utilized the opportunity and planted two acres of cabbages from which he expects to fetch more than 5 million shillings in less than five months.
He says he has also planted half an acre of maize and sorghum from which he expects some good yields because of the available rains.
Denis Achuma, another victim is happy with the relocation saying he would have not benefited from the Tractor Farm Program if they had remained on the slopes of Kawalakol.
He says he has planted the improved seeds of sorghum which was recently distributed to them by World Food Program. Achuma says he is expecting not less than 10 million shillings from the seven acres of farmland that government opened for him.
Achuma, who has two wives with 13 children, says this might be a turning point in his life.
He explains that he plans to open up big produce and livestock businesses with the proceeds from his farm by early next year.
Meanwhile, the district chairman says his office has received complaints from the elderly and the disabled saying their group has been neglected.
He cites 67 year old Enestina Toperu, who he says is demanding that government and the humanitarian agencies should start special projects for them to enable them catch up with the hard times in the Internally Displaced Camp.
Komol says his Office and that of the Chief Administrative Officer through the district disaster management committee, is expected to summit a memorandum to the office of the Prime Minster this week over the concern of the elderly and the disabled.