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Prolonged Dry Spell Devastates Otuke District

Otuke district in Northern Uganda has experienced a dry spell since October 2018 until late March 2019 when the region received intermittent rainfall. The pattern affected planting seasons in 2018 and the beginning of 2019, leading to severe food shortages.
A prolonged dry-spell that hit Otuke district has left hundreds of families starving. Households mainly in the Sub Counties of Okwang, Ogwete, Adwari, Olilim and Orum are surviving on termites and mangoes, with little or no food items at all. 

Otuke district in Northern Uganda has experienced a dry spell since October 2018 until late March 2019 when the region received intermittent rainfall.  The pattern affected planting seasons in 2018 and the beginning of 2019, leading to severe food shortages. 

Several families have emptied the granaries whose stocked food they have been surviving for about five months since October. 

Harriet Akello, 47, a mother of five children said they resorted to hunting termites and digging up swamps in the hope of getting varieties of fish that live in swampy areas. Akello appealed to the government to consider supplying them with relief food to help them overcome the effects of the dry spell. 

Bosco Otim, 50, a resident of Barocok village in Okwang Sub County said some men have resorted to hunting animals like edible rats, squirrels among others to earn a living but also noted that the animals have become so scarce due to the dry spell. He asked the Office of the Prime Minister to provide them with some fast growing seeds which they can plant as soon as the rains resume. 

Daniel Ojok Arucha, the LCIII Chairperson of Okwang Sub County described the situation as terrible. He Ojok notes that due to the prolonged dry spell, all major water sources have dried up piling another problem onto the already strained population. 

In Adwari Sub County Chairperson Lameck Akaca is worried that the food shortages may escalate acute starvation. He said most of the food crops like Cassava among others have been depleted by the residents. 

Otuke Woman MP Sylvia Akello is concerned about the current situation in her area saying she has been making effort to secure for her residents some relief food items from government.

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