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Rains go to Waste as Farmers Avoid Gardens due to Insecurity in Karamoja

Joseph Kolibi a model farmer in Sidok sub-county in Kaabong district said all their gardens are now battlefields where the UPDF is battling cattle rustlers.
25 Apr 2022 19:18


Farmers in Karamoja have kept on watching as heavy rains continue pouring, without utilizing them to plant crops.

For the last one week, Karamoja started receiving heavy rains that have already caused flash floods in some parts of the region.

But instead of taking advantage of the rains to grow crops, many farmers say they fear going to their gardens because of insecurity.

Joseph Kolibi a model farmer in Sidok sub-county in Kaabong district said all their gardens are now battlefields where the UPDF is battling cattle rustlers. 

"From last year I never prepared the garden, I thought I would be in a position to do it this year but the insecurity has failed me," he said.

Grace Nachap a resident of Napumpum sub-county in Kotido district said always by April they would be weeding their crops but no farmer has planted any crops.

"We have been known to be serious farmers in Kotido but this time around my friend, there is nothing in the ground because moving out of home to the garden is like putting a rope around one's neck to commit suicide," she said.

Mathew Lokong from Rupa Sub County in Moroto district said their gardens in Kobebe grazing areas have been turned into a no go zone.

"UPDF and Police are cordoning off  areas after flushing out the Turkana and Karimojong pastoralists after the killing of three geologists last month so we have nowhere to cultivate," he said. 

Mr.Jino Meri the district chairperson of Kaabong said the insecurity has blocked farming in the region.

"The people have been surviving on farming so this time around I don't know what is going to happen because they can't access their gardens," he said. 

Paul Lokol the District chairperson Nabilatuk District said the government needs to speed up the operation in Karamoja so that peace can prevail in the region and allow people to do farming.

"I am afraid that next year Karamoja will face the worse hunger because people have no food completely, they can't access their gardens," he said. 

Karamoja region is currently battling with insecurity which is threatening to take the region back to the previous stage where rustlers were killing people, raiding animals and waylaying vehicles.

Despite the presence of thousands of soldiers and police deployed to end lawlessness in the region, the rustlers are still carrying out raids and killing people.

But Micheal Longole, the Karamoja regional Police spokesperson says the situation is under control and farmers are free to attend to their gardens.

"We have intensified our operations in every corner in the region, these warriors have got limited space to carry out their criminal activities,"he said.