Karimojong want pastoral policy
Posted Monday, January 14 2013 at 08:27
Youths from Karamoja Sub-region have urged the government to draft a pastoral policy aimed at facilitating development in the region.
The youth in a report sanctioned by the Uganda Parliamentary Youth Forum, the Uganda Youth Network, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which was launched last week, noted that whereas crop production can apply in Karamoja, nomadic and pastoral ways of life are more adaptive in the region and the government is paying less attention to them.
The report focuses on why the current livelihood development interventions in Karamoja are insufficient for social and economic transformation of the youth.
“Despite these livelihood development interventions being implemented, Karamoja is the poorest region... and suffers from chronic poverty, malnutrition and food shortage as well as frequent drought and other natural disasters,” said Mr Alexander Kagawa, a private consultant, who presented findings to the youth and legislators hailing from Karamoja in Parliament.
He said the pastoral policy would serve as a vision and practical framework to achieve development objectives in pastoral areas.
“This would ensure the recognition of the needs of the pastoral youths in national policy and planning frameworks. The government and non-governmental organisations need to recognise pastoralism as a viable livelihood system that needs to be supported and developed by drafting a specific pastoral policy,” reads the report in part.
In terms of education, the region has only 11 per cent literacy level compared to the national average of 67 per cent.
A survey by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics shows that literacy rates in the region is at 21 per cent compared to a national average of 68 per cent.
Also 82 per cent of Karimojong live below the poverty line.
The northeastern region is also semi-arid, receiving little and unreliable rainfall.
The youths also noted in the report that once a pastoral policy is adopted for the people in the region, social and economic transformation would be realised.