Ugandans in 45 districts across the country are facing a food crisis and a disaster for the whole country is looming should September to December planting season fail, State minister for Agriculture Christopher Kibazanga, has warned.
Already, 1.3 million Ugandans, the minister said, need urgent food aid and so far, 600kgs of maize flour and 300 kilogrames of beans have been sent to Isingiro Districts where some people have starved to death.
Another 100 bags of maize flour has been sent to Teso sub region to prevent potential deaths from hunger and malnutrition related illnesses. Mr Kibazanga named sub regions of Karamoja, Teso, Lango, Acholi, Bukedi, West Nile, and Cattle Corridor districts of Nakasongala, Isingiro, Luweero, Apac and parts of Busoga as areas facing “severe food crisis”
“A few parts of the country are in emergency phase of food insecurity,”
Mr Kibazanga said at the Uganda Media Centre yesterday.
He named Isingiro Districts and Teso sub- regions as the badly hit areas.
“… there is fear if individuals and families do not manage the available food stocks at household levels well, the situation can quickly deteriorate to the emergency and famine stages of food insecurity within the next two Months,” he said.
The current dry spell ravaging the country is blamed on climate change brought about by among others things; deforestation, wetland degradation and burning of fossils into the atmosphere which warms the earth, according to environmentalists.
As a result of this changing climate, most farmers across the country have registered massive crop failures in the two rainy seasons that Uganda experiences between March till May and September to December with long dry spells scorching away crops and creating water and pasture scarcity which has resulted into livestock death.
According to Mr Kibazanga, 65 per cent of people in Karamoja sub region have one meal or half a meal in a day as opposed to three meals while 35 per cent of the population in the districts of Katakwi, Amuria, Kumi, Bukedea, parts of Serere and Kaberamaido are in the same phase with Karamoja sub-region.
Districts of Kisoro, Kabale, Kanungu, Rukungiri, Mitooma, Bushenyi, Rubirizi, Ibanda, Kasese, Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Kyenjojo, Ntoroko, Kibaale, Hoima, Masaka, Lyantonde, Kalungu, Butambala, Mityana, Wakiso, Gomba, Luuka, Iganga, Buikwe, Mukono, Kayunga, Buyende, Kampala, Jinja, Mayuge, Bugiri, Busia, Namayingo, Buvuma and Kalangala are food secure, the Mr Kibazanga said.
the issues at hand
Mr Kibazanga also revealed that 50 per cent of the people of Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo, Maracha, Arua, Zombo, Nebbi, Adjumani, Amuru, Nyoya, Gulu, Pader, Lamwo, Kitgum, Agago, Soroti, Ngora, Amolatar, Pallisa, Butaleja, Rakai, Isingiro and Tororo have access to a meal a day. The districts of Oyam, Apac, Kiryandongo, Masindi, Bulisa, Kyankwanzi, Nakaseke, Kiboga, Mubende, Luwero, Kyegegwa, Sembabule, Kiruhura, Lwengo, Ntugamo, Kamuli and Kibuuku are in a minimal phase of food insecurity, meaning the people can still afford all meals though stocks are running low.
Measure. As a measure to avoid more food crisis in the country, Mr Kibazanga has advised households to desist from selling their little harvests, minimise waste during the upcoming festivals and plant early maturing crops like potatoes, vegetables, harvest, store and use water sparingly for both domestic and livestock.