An organization that
predicts famines says it expects a
reduction in the number of Ugandans facing extreme hunger.The Famine Early Warning System Network
(FEWSNET) says the number will likely fall from 2.11 million to 1.38 million
between now and December, as harvests improve.
it will take several productive seasons before the affected districts become
food secure, according to FEWSNET.The
network, funded by the United States, says the situation is especially serious
in the dry northeastern Karamoja region.
It hasn’t had much
rain since May 2009, says Narman Ojwe, the resident district commissioner of
Moroto District in Karamoja.He
described the (food insecurity) situation as bad.
“Even the government’s attempts to launch a food
production campaign, where households in the region were provided with farm
inputs such as hoes, tractors and even seeds, didn’t help.”
All the crops dried
at “knee level. So there was no harvest
registered at all,” he said.
“As we talk it is raining, he said. “ These are
the first rains and even if they continue it will not be of any productive
region is fertile but the lack of water is a problem, Ojwe noted.
need is improved technology and irrigation but those are expensive and may not
be realized in the short run.”
region is faced with the same problem next year during the planting period
(March – May), he cautioned, the [food insecurity] situation will not change.
prayer is to have rain next planting season so that people can plant their own
people here are agro-pastoralist and government policy now is to provide small
dams in every parish and bigger ones in every sub-county,” he said. There are 41 sub-counties in Karamoja region.
Ugandan government has already procured equipment for opening up the dams, says Ojwe.
at least help provide water to the animals. And the animal products, such as milk and meat,
will supplement or contribute to food security.”
He praised the World
Food Program (WFP) for feeding the people in the region. “They distribute the food according to the number of people
in a household.”
There was a minor
problem of registering people and tracing them in the computer distribution
list, he said, attributing the difficulty to human mobility. The problem has
now been rectified, he added.
and development partners such as the United Nations Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO) are also helping farmers in some parts of the region, where
there is enough water, by proving seeds, tractors and fuel, and hand hoes to
every household, said Ojwe.
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