Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Aswa river region police is distressed by rampant cases of suicide, a number of which have been linked to frustration.
More than 10 cases of suicide have been recorded between December 2019 and early January 2020, according to records by the area police. The latest incident involved Charles Amone, 45, a resident of Barlajwa village, Luna parish in Pader town council who died on Monday after taking poison.
Residents say that Amone’s action was ignited by the departure of his wife, a mother of seven who eloped with another man. His death brought to four, the number of suicide deaths recorded by police in Pader district. Two of the cases were reported in Laguti sub-county and the third in Pajule sub-county.
On January 1, Walter Opira, 43, a boda-boda rider and resident of Go-down sub-ward in Layibi division of Gulu Municipality drunk herbicides and died after pleading in vain for his wife to return when she left. Prior to that, four other cases were reported in Bardege division and Ogul village, Paicho sub-county in Gulu district.
On December 30, Isaac Mbayo, a suspect charged for allegedly stealing 2.8 million shillings and a smartphone worth one million shillings from an unsuspecting woman at Elegu town council in Amuru district also committed suicide by hanging in a police cell. Another suicide case was reported in mid-December in Koro Abili village, Koro sub-county in Omoro district after an unidentified man was discovered hanging on a tree branch by residents, according to the area LCI Chairperson Cyrus Okot.
Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa river region police spokesperson told URN on Monday that their findings show that many of the cases are a result of frustration arising out of domestic violence, poverty and inability to deal with stress.
Okema asserted that domestic violence has been precipitating suicide incidences for the last three years from 2016 to 2019, claiming more than 120 lives in the region. He appealed to individuals faced with life challenges to share them out with their loved ones.
He also appealed to various stakeholders including security, the Church, local leaders and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to engage the masses through psycho-social support at various levels to avert the vice.
According to the 2018 Police Annual Crime Report, Aswa region comprising of eight districts of Gulu, Amuru, Kitgum, Lamwo, Agago, Nwoya, Omoro and Pader registered the highest number of Domestic Violence related deaths with 55 cases, followed by North Kyoga with 48 cases and Rwizi with 31 cases among others.
The highest number was in Amuru where 16 lives were lost, followed by Oyam with 14 cases, Arua with 12 cases, while Kole and Agago registered 11 cases each. The districts of Mbarara, Gulu and Ntungamo registered 10 cases each.
In 2014, Uganda ranked number 17 among countries with high suicide cases, according to the World Health Organization. The organization revealed that suicide is a serious public health concern in the country with over 18 per 100,000 deaths resulting from suicide.