The Muslim community in Yumbe has united to pray for rain.
Hundreds of Muslims gathered at Barakala Primary School late yesterday for special prayers to beg Allah for mercy and to pray for rain. The prayers came a few days after two children died from eating poisonous immature cassava out of hunger.
Sheik Ismael Zubeir the Imam of Romogi County in Yumbe led the two-hour prayers. He said the widespread hunger was a punishment from Allah for the rise in evil in society. He said evidence of the evil could be seen in the increase in crimes like child sacrifice, murder and defilement.
The worshipers agreed that if nothing changes by Friday, they will start a three-day district-wide fast.
The prayers were a rare show of religious unity in Yumbe. Members of the Christian community joined the prayers, also petitioning God for rain.
In Arua, the Muslim community there is to hold special prayers on Thursday to plead for rain.
Sheik Amin Amaga, the district Kadhi, says the prayers at Irshad Mosque will lead people in repentance for their sins. Like his counterpart in Yumbe, Sheik Amaga believes that the unusually short rainy season and the famine and drought are punishment from Allah.
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Traditionally, the Lugbara, Madi and Kakwa communities in the West Nile believed that drought could be broken by rainmakers.
70-year-old Musa Baduni says those beliefs are now a thing of the past. He says he believes that rain will fall only with the intervention of Allah.