Poor and inconsistent rains have affected farmers in Kitgum leading to poor crop yield. Many residents say they do not have enough food to push them till the end of the year. The most affected sub-counties are Mucwini, Orom, Namukora, Omia Anyima, Lagoro and Kitgum Matidi.
Poor and inconsistent rains have affected farmers in Kitgum leading to poor crop yields.
Many residents say they do not have enough food to push them till the end of the year. The most affected sub-counties are Mucwini, Orom, Namukora, Omia Anyima, Lagoro and Kitgum Matidi.
Farmers in these sub-counties are now calling on the district disaster management team and aid agencies to make contingency plans and avert possible starvation by end of the year.
Ferdinand Owonda, a resident of Namukora sub-county is one of the farmers affected by the poor crop yields. Owonda says he has been producing both millet and sorghum in large quantities, but this year his produce has dwindled because of poor and delayed rains.
Owonda says by the time the rains started, the season for millet had already passed.
He is appealing to the district agricultural officer and the NAADS office to help farmers with supplies for next season.
In the neighbouring Omia Anyima sub-county, farmers are equally pessimistic about the food security. Charles Okema says he may not be able to feed his family if the poor rain patterns continue. He has challenged the district leadership not to wait until famine strikes before beginning to act.
Ensio Onyango, a resident in Mucwini sub-county is also painting a gloomy picture.
Onyango says several farmers are now planting simsim and cotton, which are cash crops in the district. He says the rains started after the season for both millet and sorghum had passed.
Onyango says if the aid agencies do not intervene in time, many residents may starve to death.
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Titus Oryema, the Kitgum district vice chairperson, who also doubles as the secretary for finance, acknowledges the problem. Oryema says the inconsistent rain patterns have affected all the sub-counties in the district and he expects real famine. Oryema says as a precautionary measure, they have been urging residents to plant cassava that can withstand drought.
He notes that the district leadership has made it compulsory for every household to plant at least an acre of cassava as a food security measure.
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Oryema has however failed to state whether the district has a budget line for disaster management.
Charles Othai, the Kitgum district Chief Administrative Officer, who heads the district disaster management committee, says he is still new in the office. Othai, who is one week old in the office, says he will soon have emergency meetings with heads of departments to get briefings on the state of preparedness of the district to respond to emergencies.
He also plans to meet aid agencies to devise means to avert the looming famine.
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