Madrid, 25 (European press)
About 900 people have died since February in Uganda’s Karamoja region (northeast) from hunger-related diseases due to poor harvests and drought, local leaders have been quoted by the local Daily Monitor as saying.
These sources indicated that the figures collected by the local authorities and intelligence services indicate the killing of more than 900 people, mostly children and the elderly, amid the slow response to deal with the crisis.
The situation has generated a new factor of instability such as increased clashes between local communities to try to steal cattle, leading the army to arrest more than 400 suspects since mid-May.
“It is difficult to explain our situation to foreigners until they visit our settlements,” said John Robert Aduba, president of the Lutesan sub-county, adding that 22 people have died in the area so far from famine-related diseases.
Thus, he lamented that “there is almost nothing to be harvested.” “The crops have disappeared, and people need food from the government that has not yet arrived. Some have resorted to boiling goat and cow hides to eat,” he explained.
For his part, Kotido District Chief Lot Paul Koder confirmed that 626 people, mostly elderly and children aged between three and six years, had died in the past five months, before the Kotido people were rescued by the central authorities providing sufficient food supplies for all families.
Along these lines, Kotido’s production official, Robert Kennedy Okuda, highlighted that nearly half of the district’s 165,000 residents do not have enough to eat, before adding that 77 percent of them need urgent help.
Added to these figures are the deaths of about 260 people in Kabung district, according to the local leader, Gino Meri, who explained that the figure corresponds to the period between January and July. He admitted that “the situation is bad” before comparing the situation to the famine that afflicted the region between 1979 and 1980.
Similarly, the President of Naples, Paulo Coder, has confirmed 49 deaths in the region, where so far only 640 people out of 163,000 residents have received food aid. He stressed that “I don’t want to be a complaining leader, but I want to be the one providing solutions,” although he noted that insecurity robbed resources from livestock-dependent communities.
The heat wave shaking the region has also dried up the water torrents that drained from Mount Moroto, allowing agricultural activities in the region, causing about eight out of ten families to be food insecure, according to official statistics. .
In this context, Lazarus Kiuha, a high school principal in the district, indicated that the center, which has more than 400 students, will have to close due to lack of food. “There is a shortage of food to feed the students,” he said.
The Karamoja region is one of the poorest regions in the African country, with the rural population reliant mainly on livestock and agriculture. This region of the country has the highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in Uganda.
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