Friday, August 19, 2011


Eastern and northern Uganda could be staring at famine. The worst hit districts are Bulambuli and the region of Karamoja where 1.2 million people are facing food shortage. Following the persistent drought that reduced pasture and food production, Karimojong cattle keepers are selling their few remaining cows and goats in order to survive. Others who lost their animals to cattle rustlers have resorted to breaking stones and selling them to Tororo Cement Industries while some gather wild fruits to survive. As food scarcity worsens in many districts of northern Uganda, many households have resorted to rationing the available foodstuffs they have in their family stores. To survive, some families have resorted to borrowing food from friends, hunting, selling their land and animals.

"We are just selling off our animals to survive but traditionally cows in Karamoja are only meant for marriage," said Timothy Koryang, an elder in Moroto.

Ms Anastasia Among, a 40 year-old widow in Ocorai village in Serere and her family, depend on farming for survival but for the last three months, there has been no rain in her area and the crops have withered. "I depend on growing crops for sale and consumption at home. This year the harvest is very poor and we fear there is going to be a serious food shortage," Ms Among said.

In West Nile region, families have one meal a day as a result of food shortage that has pushed prices up. Mr Clement Adrabo, a resident of Ediofe, said: "We now take one meal per day because food is expensive and there is no money. I have even stopped drinking alcohol and the money should rather be used for feeding my family," the father of four said.

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