Tuesday May 31 2016

Children starve as food crisis hits Apac

Children in Apac District eat raw mangoes following

Children in Apac District eat raw mangoes following the food crisis in the area. Photo by Bill Oketch 

Apac- Child headed households in Nambieso Sub-county, Apac District, are starving following a food crisis in the area.
“We now eat one meal a day while sometimes we sleep hungry,” said a 10-year-old orphan, Samuel Okello, adding that his eldest sister Sandra Auma, 17, cannot afford the high food prices charged in the markets.

Many farmers only recently planted crops, and still need to buy food.

All varieties of beans have reportedly nearly doubled in cost and peas have increased by about a third, while corn has gone up by a third, millet nearly doubled and cabbage up by nearly two-thirds.

Food in the local restaurants is available, but more expensive menus are discouraging customers.
Local leaders have blamed the catastrophe on the outbreak of cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), which researchers have warned could cause food insecurity in Lango sub-region.

“Much as people have been planting cassava for the last two years, when you go to harvest it you find that the tuberous roots have all rotten,” Mr Jimmy Emmanuel Okello Ecun, Nambieso LC5 councillor told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Monday.

He said people who can afford to now buy cassava from Aduku Sub-county (Apac District) but the extremely vulnerable individuals are sleeping hungry.

Worrying trend
The LC1 chairman of Akoko-dako village, Etek iber parish in Nambieso Sub-county, Mr JP Haruna, said: “This may affect the opening of second term as children will not be able to study on empty stomachs.”

The prices of livestock have dropped significantly as people run to the markets to sell their animals to buy foodstuff.

A big bull that used to fetch between Shs700,000 to Shs1 million is now being sold at between Shs400,000 to Shs500,000. The price of a goats which was initially at Shs100,000 has reduced to Shs45,000 while chicken that used to sell at Shs25,000 is now sold at Shs4,000 and Shs8,000.