Suicide claims 8 lives in Acholi Sub-region

Monday June 29 2020



Pamela Angwech

Pamela Angwech 

By TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY

An LC1 chairperson in Omoro District, who was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu Town last Friday after allegedly ingesting a poisonous chemical, died on Tuesday morning.

Nixon Uma in his 50s, the chairmperson of Lagung Village, Gem Parish in Lalogi Sub-county, returned home on the fateful evening while drunk and allegedly took the chemical on grounds that one of his sons refused to give him money to repair the family’s broken ox-plough.

Mr Douglas Peter Okao, the Omoro chairperson, confirmed the incident saying the deceased is survived by a widow, nine children and two dependents. “It is unfortunate that our people still look at suicide as a solution to their problems. We have sensitised the public on better alternatives to resolve conflicts,” Mr Okao said.

On Thursday, Mr Peter Mugabi, the Omoro District Police Commander, said the district had registered two deaths from suicide in the last two months.

“We have lost two people so far, one in February and one in March,” Mr Mugabi said. He attributed the suicides to escalating land wrangles.

Mr Isaac Otukene, a nephew to the deceased, said: “A plot of land was meant to be sold but the Covid-19 lockdown foiled the sale. When Uma requested for some money from the son, he declined to give him the support since growing crops on the land would delay it’s sale.”

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Meanwhile, Uma’s case brings the total number of deaths from suicide registered by police in the last five months in Aswa River region to eight.

Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, the regional police spokesperson, said: “There is need for a collective effort to scale down this vice, police are facing a big challenge in the fight against domestic violence.”

Mr Augustine Lacambel is one of the Koro clan elders in Omoro District. His brother, Nyeko Wilbert, last month hanged himself after his wife and children allegedly threw him out of the family house.

“Misunderstandings erupted since last year. His wife and children sold the family land without his consent and when he protested, they built another hut and isolated him,” he said.

By the time of his demise, the family had ceased to deliver food to Mr Nyeko, prompting him to commit suicide.
Daily Monitor established that four of the cases were from Omoro and Gulu districts while the rest were from Pader, Kitgum and Lamwo districts.

Ms Pamela Angwech, the executive director of Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalisation, a non-governmental organisation, said: “This increase is dangerous for us the stakeholders in the fight against the vice. The capacity of mediation has also been crippled by Covid-19.”

“Before the Covid-19 lockdown, we could mediate about three to five cases of domestic violence in the whole week. Right now, we are registering five cases daily and more than 50 in the whole week,” she added.

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