Toll Free Lines Used to Curb WFP Food Theft in Karamoja

1495 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
The development follows cases of mismanagement of food in schools, health facilities and community, specifically in Karamoja Sub Region, where WFP assistance reaches nearly a quarter of a million people. Reports indicate that quite often, aid food has ended up in the market where it is openly sold to willing buyers.

The World Food Programme [WFP] has introduced toll-free lines to track food theft and other food management related issues in the country. 



The development follows cases of mismanagement of food in schools, health facilities and community, specifically in Karamoja Sub Region, where WFP assistance reaches nearly a quarter of a million people.  Reports indicate that quite often, aid food has ended up in the market where it is openly sold to willing buyers.

 

Last month, the head teacher of Kokuwam Primary School in Kotido district and his deputy were arrested for reportedly mismanaging more than 300 kilograms of maize supplied by WFP to the school last term. 




The Kotido case is not in isolation. Similar cases of food theft are reported especially from schools and health facilities but institution managers prefer to handle them at the administrative level. Where the heads of institutions are involved, the subordinates leak information to authorities for investigation. 




Now, Muhammed Satti, the WFP head in Moroto who doubles as the UN coordinator for Karamoja Sub Region says the UN agency has introduced the toll-free connection to all institutions receiving assistance from WFP, to address such food management issues. 



 
//Cue in; "You see… 


Cue out…multipurpose."//



Satti added that more than 250 calls relating to food management have so far been registered in the Kampala centre from Karamoja sub-region.   





//Cue in; "It has been very… 


Cue out…people communicate."// 




At Namalu Mixed Primary School, Aisha Nafuna, one of the pupils in the school said the toll-free line has reduced food theft in the store. She revealed that before the introduction of the toll-free line, food would get finished in the stores before the term closes, forcing children to return home early or starve. 





Karamoja suffers food shortages almost every year, making the existence of WFP in the region, a necessity. Food is used as a bait for patients and children at school.