Kotido District Chairperson Ambrose Lotukei has appealed for food aid in support of communities whose harvests failed to yield, during the last planting season.
The district lying in northern Karamoja, an area characterized by long dry spells was ravaged by the meadow spittle bug that destroyed sorghum and maize plantations, the staple food of the area.
An Assessment report by the District Production Department estimates that close to 18, 500 acres of sorghum and maize were destroyed by the meadow spittle bug. The assessment indicates that Nakapelimoru Sub County was worst hit followed by Rengen and Panyangara Sub Counties.
Families in these areas are reported to be starving as a result of food shortage. Some survive on one meal a day and others spend days with nothing to eat. Lotukei says that due to the food scarcity, many people have been forced to move out of the district to the neighboring areas of Teso, Lango and Acholi where they are providing labor in exchange for food.
In a letter addressed to the Office of the Prime Minister, Lotukei requested for 18, 800 tons of rice or maize grain and 13,600 tons of beans to feed an estimated 155,000 people across the district for the next six months. He also appealed that the government provides fast maturing crops in the next planting season in order to rescue the situation.
But State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru said his office had not yet received the letter. He, however, noted that government is aware of the food insecurity in Karamoja.
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A total of 155, 176 [76.3 percent] of the population of Kotido district are already affected by hunger, according to the district food assessment security report of 2018.