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Napak Residents Cry out for Food Aid after Crop Failure :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Napak Residents Cry out for Food Aid after Crop Failure

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Asunta Napeyok, a farmer in Longaroi village, Lotome Sub County explained that when the rains started, they planted a lot of crops with hopes of getting a good harvest all in vain due to the harsh weather. The communities now burn charcoal and cut firewood to exchange with local brew residue as food since they cannot afford the food sold from the market.
Peter Sagal , one of the farmers in Lotome sub county while in his garden that has been scroched by the drought

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Residents of Napak district have cried out to the government for food support following the prolonged dry spell that has destroyed all their crops. The most affected sub-counties are Lotome, Ngoloriet, Lokopo, Matany, and Lopei where the drought situation has reached an alarming stage.

Over 142,000 people across the district are in desperate need of food Aid. The communities now burn charcoal and cut firewood to exchange with local brew residue as food since they cannot afford the food sold at the market. Asunta Napeyok, a farmer in Longaroi village, Lotome Sub County explained that when the rains started, they planted a lot of crops with hopes of getting a good harvest all in vain due to the harsh weather. 

Napeyok said that the family is grappling with hunger and they have resorted to burning charcoal for sale, which does not give them enough money since the government banned commercial charcoal business. She said they now burn at least two basins of charcoal, which they sell at Shillings 2500 each and it is not enough to buy food so they end up buying local brew residue that is also sold at the same price. 

Napeyok explained that sometimes they exchange charcoal for local brew residue in case they do not get the buyers at that particular time. She cried out to the government to support them with relief food because they were left with no other source of livelihood.

//Cue in: ''when this rains......

Cue out:........can not buy anything,''//

Peter Sagal, another farmer, said that all his five acres of crops have dried off and nothing is left for the family to feed on. Sagal noted this season has been worsening compared to the previous years where they used to at least get something to harvest despite the fluctuating weather patterns.

He said that his family now relies on charcoal and firewood to sell in order to buy food from the market. That is also not enough since the number is big in the family. Sagal appealed to the well-wishers to come to their rescue because the trees they are relying on are also getting depleted.

//Cue in: ''I cultivated here........

Cue out:..........not enough for the family,''//

Godfrey Ochan, the agricultural officer for Lotome Sub County acknowledged the crisis asserting that all the seeds they received from the Ministry of Agriculture to give farmers were all hit by drought. Ochan noted that the crop failure is due to poor rain performance between the months of March- April and June.

He said that the crops were hit at the stage of flowering and the situation is worrying since there is no food for the community to feed on as they wait for another season next year.

//Cue in: ''We gave them.......

Cue out : ''........supplied to the farmers,''//

Abrahams Nangiro, the Napak District Agricultural Officer drought has not only affected crops but also threatened livestock due to the reduction of water volumes from the dams. Nangiro noted that the district has registered the worst situation of crop failure this season due to unpredictable weather patterns.

Nangiro said that although some families have migrated to the green belt areas within the district where little harvest has been realized, there is going to be a depletion of little food harvested due to overpopulation. He said that in some other drier zones such as Lopei and Lokopo, farmers did not cultivate anything because they were already threatened by the weather changes.

Nangiro said that the only alternative left to ensure food security is to introduce the irrigation system and open more water catchment points for both animal and crop production.

//Cue in: ''When you look......

Cue out : ''..........within a shorter time''.//

John Paul Kodet, the LC5 Chairperson for Napak district says there is a new wave of hunger coming and the situation is deteriorating day by day because people are wasting all the little resources available for survival. Kodet observed that people are more likely to start dying in the next three months if there is no urgent response to the hunger crisis.

He also revealed that farmers opened large chunks of land but unfortunately, lack of rain made it hard for them to plant the crops. Kodet noted that the situation this time is direr than last year and more deaths are expected if the government does not take responsibility for taking care of the hunger-stricken communities.

//Cue in ; ''Out of the fourteen......

Cue out : ''........... Than last year''.//