Former Warriors In Karamoja Abandon Modern Homes

3639 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
More than 100 reformed Karimojong warriors who were reintegrated and resettled by government into modern houses have abandoned them for their grass thatched huts commonly known as “manyatas”.

More than 100 reformed Karimojong warriors who were reintegrated and resettled by government into modern houses have abandoned them for their grass thatched huts commonly known as “manyatas”.

Janet Museveni, the minister in charge of Karamoja Affairs, with support from the office of the Prime Minister constructed more than 100 hydra form modern houses in Moroto district and handed them over to the former warriors as a reward for voluntarily returning their guns to government.

Other beneficiaries were the extremely vulnerable groups that include the elderly and child headed families.

Each unit of the house comprises of two bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen and a store and is solar powered. The houses were constructed in Nakapelimen village in Moroto municipality, Acerere, Nadunget, Loi village in Loputuk Sub County and in Lorengedwat.

The houses that were constructed by the UPDF engineering department were also furnished with beddings and cooking utensils among others.

The beneficiaries have, however, abandoned these modern houses for their “manyatas” saying it is of no use to sleep in a modern house when they have nothing to eat. Some of them have rented them out while others use them for keeping their animals instead.

Cathy Comfort, one of the residents renting one of these houses at Nakapelimen at the Janet Quarters, says she pays shillings 100, 000 a month.

Albino Lobong, the LC 1 chairperson of Nakapelimen village who is also a beneficiary, says most of them say that government should have rewarded them with better things than the houses.

Lobong says their problem was not accommodation but rather source of livelihoods. He noted that government should have first consulted them instead of rushing for what they do not want.

Aleper Napelo, another beneficiary in Lorengedwat says whereas they appreciate government for the reward, their problem was not accommodation. He says he would rather rent out his house and sleep in the “manyata” and use the proceeds of his rent to cater for his family.

Napelo says he is able to buy food and cater for some other household needs with the money he is getting from rent.

2nd Lieutenant Alice Nabafu, a UPDF officer attached to the 3rd Division army barracks in Moroto who is overseeing the construction of these houses, says she is aware of the development.

She says that she has been told some of the beneficiaries are also not using the toilets constructed for them saying their culture bars them from using pit latrines. The Karimojong say elders should “never share a latrine with an in-law.

Nabafu says the beneficiaries can use the houses the way they wish since they own them.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.