UGANDA’S KARAMOJA FAC­ING FOOD SHORT­AGE

The East African - - NEWS - By KENNEDY SENELWA Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

The gov­ern­ment needs to in­crease in­vest­ment in water har­vest­ing, agro­forestry schemes and cul­ti­va­tion of drought re­sis­tant crops.

KARAMOJA RE­GION in north­east­ern Uganda is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a food chal­lenge.

Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Na­pak, Abim, Amu­dat, Kaabong and Kotido dis­tricts have been mapped as be­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble.

A new study has rec­om­mended that the Uganda gov­ern­ment in­crease in­vest­ment in water har­vest­ing, agro­forestry schemes, im­proved ac­cess to cli­mate change in­for­ma­tion and cul­ti­va­tion of drought re­sis­tant crops.

Pas­toral­ist com­mu­ni­ties from north­west­ern Kenya and South Sudan af­fected by drought nor­mally drive their live­stock to Karamoja in search of water and pas­ture at times, lead­ing to con­fronta­tions with lo­cals of semi-arid area.

Un­like most re­gions of Uganda that en­joy bi-modal rain­fall, Karamoja has a uni-modal pat­tern start­ing in March and end­ing in Oc­to­ber fol­lowed by a dry spell. Land prepa­ra­tion, plant­ing and weed­ing takes place be­tween March and Oc­to­ber. Har­vest­ing is be­tween Au­gust and De­cem­ber.

Vi­sion 2040 threat­ened

The study Im­pacts of Cli­mate Change on Food Se­cu­rity and Liveli­hoods in Karamoja, con­ducted by Uganda’s Water and En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry, World Food Pro­gram and Con­sul­ta­tive Group for In­ter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Re­search, has found that tem­per­a­tures in Karamoja have been ris­ing over the past 35 years while the rain­fall is un­pre­dictable and un­even.

House­holds are vul­ner­a­ble to cli­mate shocks as floods, pro­longed dry spells, strong winds, er­ratic rain­fall and storms.

Drought alone, wipes out live­stock and over 50 per cent of crops.

The Water and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter, Sam Chep­toris said Uganda is adopt­ing cli­mate change re­silience pro­grammes that sup­port the most vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties.

Pic­ture: File

De­spite the harsh cli­mate, Karamo­jong women raise toma­toes.

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