Starving Karimojong Abandon Saving Groups

Gideon Lokure, chairman Alakara saving group in Sidok sub county in Kaabong district said the culture of savings that the Karimojong families had learnt was dying out due to the current hunger situation.
12 Jun 2022 18:19

Some 110 registered saving groups across the nine districts of Karamoja have collapsed after many of their members pulled out due to persistent hunger.

A mini-survey by URN in some districts in the region finds that many members have pulled out after failing to make weekly savings.

Speaking to URN on Friday, Gideon Lokure the chairman of Alakara Saving Group in Sidok sub-county in Kaabong district said the culture of savings that the Karimojong families had learnt was dying due to the current hunger situation. 

“Members have left savings due to the high level of hunger whereby people have no sources of raising money in this current hunger situation," he said.

He said the situation has also been made worse by the scorching sunshine that has dried up all the crops that people had planted in the current season.

John Lote a secretary of Kitopoloi village saving and credit Association in Kotido district which is one of the groups that has collapsed said members have migrated to Acholi region in search of food.

"The situation is bad, when you move around people's families it is only starving faces welcoming you, now how can such a person raise money for savings?" he asked.

Grace Nachap one for the former members of Ingarakinai Savings group in Moroto Municipality said contributing for the savings became difficult especially in the families headed by single mothers.

“For me, I find it difficult to continue with savings because I could not afford even salt, so what about 3,000 shillings for the group weekly, so I failed,” she said.

Jimmy Lomokol the director of Karamoja private sector promotion center said the current hunger and also insecurity have affected private sector.

Meanwhile the prices of food items in several parts of Karamoja have shot up following an intense drought that hit the sub region.

Traders attribute the increasing food prices to reduced stocks of food in Mbale, Soroti and Lira to the delayed rainfall last year.

In Kotido a kilogram of sugar costs 5,400 from 4,200 Shillings, whereas in Moroto a kilo of sugar is now at 4,300 from 3,600Shillings by Feburary.

Posho flour grade one goes for 3,700 Shillings from 2,300 in Moroto and Kotido districts. 

Beans go for 4,000 Shillings in Moroto from 3,600.

A big bunch of Matooke is sold at 46,000 Shillings from 35,000 in Moroto while in Kotido it goes for 56,000 Shillings. Kaabong sells it at 60,000 Shillings.