WFP poisoned porridge: Death toll jumps to two

Sunday March 17 2019

A woman assists a sick man who was rushe

A woman assists a sick man who was rushed to Lotome health centre III after eating suspected poisoned porridge supplied by World Food programme. Photo by Steven Ariong 

By Steven Ariong

Karamoja- A second person was Sunday confirmed dead after consuming porridge that was supplied by the World Food Programme (WFP), in Karamoja region.

The death occurred on Sunday afternoon at Karita Health Centre III, Napak District.

It follows the Saturday death of one person in Amudat District. Dozens of people who partook the porridge are in critical condition and are currently admitted to different health centres.

The Saturday incident was confirmed in Chepkwararat village in Karita sub-county, Amudat District.

 Mr Joseph Lomonyang, the Napak District chairperson identified the person who died on Sunday as 40-year-old Nate Sagal, a resident of Lomote village.

Mr Timothy Teko, the Assistant District Health Director said Sagal’s body has been taken to Matany Hospital for a post-mortem.


Meanwhile, the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Mr Musa Ecweru said on Sunday that they are concerned about the sad development.

“Government is seriously concerned about the food that was supplied by UN World Food programme to the people of Karamoja. We are working hard to get to the root cause of the problem,” he said.

WFP which has been the lead agency in fighting hunger in Karamoja, on Tuesday last week distributed the porridge flour to 120 households but several people who prepared and ate the porridge, suffered stomach upsets while others fainted moments later.

 At least 30 people who ate the porridge in Alakas village, Amudat Sub-county in Amudat District, were on Wednesday taken to Amudat Hospital but were discharged on Thursday after responding to treatment.

Mr Ecweru said the government “does not have any plans to kill its people” and described the death of two people as unfortunate.

“What we suspect that the food could have got contaminated during the packaging process,” he said. “But the question is: How was this not detected?”