Food Scarcity Hits Fort Portal Remand Home

2502 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
On some days, the children eat only one meal a day instead of three and feed on porridge only

Inmates are Remand Home in Fort Portal face starvation because of food shortage.  Kitumba remand home has 24 minor offenders aged between 12-18years. They are drawn from Kabarole, Kyejonjo, Kasese, Kamwenge and Bundibugyo districts. In the past the home has been getting funding from Kabarole through the district community development department. But this financial no money was allocated to the remand home. As a result of lack of funds to buy food, the inmates are now being fed on a single meal a day instead of three.

On some days they they are fed on porridge only. Judith Magambo, the Matron of Kitumba remand home says that they had run out of food to feed the minors last week. She says that they were forced to seek assistance from residents neighboring the facility to contribute money to buy some food. Magambo also says that some of the projects which include handcrafts, brick making, tailoring and poultry that have in the past been generating income for the home to purchase food were put on halt.

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Shamillah Kakunguru, the Kabarole District Probation Officer says that district local government poorly funds the home. She says that despite several pleas to have the budget increased from shs 3million to shs 8million, nothing has been done. She says that apart from lack of adequate food, the home also lacks funds to pay utilities like water and electricity. Kakunguru says that following the scarcity of food, they appealed to the district to solicit funds to buy food for the children but they haven’t responded.

17-year-old David Asiimwe who has spent five months of his seven month sentence says that, they have been feeding on porridge alone in the last three days. Asiimwe says that they plan to request the matron to allow them engage in casual work in the neighbouring homes so that they are paid and purchase food to feed on. Francis Mondo Kyateka, the commissioner for Youth and Children's Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development told URN on phone that the responsibility of his ministry stops at supervising the facilities. Mondo advises other local governments in the region to jointly fund the operations of the home.  Early this year, imates in Gulu remand home also faced similar problems after the district local government failed to release funds to buy food for the minor offenders.



About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.