Rains Raise Hopes in Drought-battered Karamoja

1993 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
Heavy rains in some parts of Karamoja on Monday have raised hopes after nearly 10 months of severe drought.

Heavy rains in some parts of Karamoja on Monday have raised hopes after nearly 10 months of severe drought. 

The two-hour rains in Moroto district sent excitement placing fears of no gardening in the region to a rest.

Karamoja has been hit by a devastating drought for the last three consecutive years that has left dozens dead. Scores of people have crossed into the neighbouring Teso and Acholi regions in search of food, pasture and water.

Information available indicates that there's been heavy rains in the districts of Abim and Kaabong.

Kotido district had by 3pm on Monday received only drizzles that helped lower intense heat that has been experienced in the past three days.

In Nakapiripirit district, a lot of rain has been reported in Namalu Sub County located in Karamoja's green belt coupled with drizzles in Nakapiripirit town council.

And in Napak district, little rain was experienced in Kangole while Iriiri had a heavy downpour.

However, in Amudat, Easter Monday remained extremely dry with no drop of rain in the entire border district.

Mike Kidon, a demonstration farmer in Moroto says the showers raise hope but prays that it continues to relieve him from the costly watering of crops he's been in for months.

The District Chairperson Moroto, Andrew Keem Napaja, however says the area remains hot despite the rains today.

He appeals to communities to utilise the expected rains to open up vast land for planting saying the drought has been a big lesson to the people of Karamoja.

Mario Tengei, the acting District Agriculture officer in Nakapiripirit, urges farmers to ensure that they plant fast maturing crops and make the best use the little water.

According to meteorologists report released in February, Karamoja is expected to start receiving irregular rains in mid- April with a peak in May. The rain forecast for Karamoja also indicates that the region is expected to receive below normal rainfall this year.