Sunday May 18 2014

Excitement in Karamoja as rains start

By Steven Ariong

Karimojong and Turkana pastoralists now have cause to smile after the arid region received rains this week.
The rain saved the pastoralists from the drought which hit the region and dried several water points. Livestock died due to scarcity of water and pasture.
The seven-month drought had dried up water dams including Kobebe, which government built at Shs7 billion.

The dam had been serving a population of 90,000 head of cattle, sheep, donkeys, goats and camels of both Karimojong and Turkana from neighbouring Kenya.
Mr Paul Lokut, a Turkana pastoralists grazing his animals in Moroto, said some of the seasonal rivers that had dried up are now full.
“Drought in Turkana had forced us to run away from our land and to graze our animals in Moroto. We didn’t know where to go next if the rains had not come,” he said.

However, the rains have created secondary problems. Roads have become impassable due to flooding.
The road connecting Moroto to Mbale via Nakapiripirit has been closed after the rains washed away the bridge.
The Okukudu Bridge that connects Nakapiripirit to Mbale has also been washed away leaving vehicles stuck.