Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The persistent insecurity in Karamoja has rendered hundreds of local tour guides jobless.
About 300 Karamojong youth have been making a living by guiding tourists around the mountains and camping sites.
However, the number of tourists visiting Karamoja has dropped because of the current security situation, which has affected the local tour guides.
Paul Anyakun, one of the local tour guides in Moroto municipality says that before insecurity broke out in the region, they used to receive many tourists who could pay a lot of money but they hardly get any tourists now.
“We are just idle, no money, yet our source of earning has been largely in tourism,” he said.
Joel Lote, another tour guide says that he used to earn Shillings 1million monthly but since the tourists stopped visiting Karamoja due to the insecurity, life has become hard.
“How I wish President Museveni could bail us (the tour guide from Karamoja) as he did to the western tour guides so that we can also do something,” he said.
Mark Tebanyang, another tour guide in Kotido district said he had employed five boys to work with him under Tobongulore tour guide but he has since stopped them because he does not have money to pay them.
“In a month I used to get Shillings 3million and would pay Uganda Revenue Authority something and I remain with what I could use for paying my boys and maintain my company but not for the last five months. I have not recieved any single tourist, which is very hard,” he said.
Fred Kiiza Kayanja, the in charge of Mt Elgon conservation area, says the new wave of insecurity in the Karamoja region has affected development in the region.
Jimmy Lomokol, the director of Karamoja private sector promotion center says that the current insecurity in the region has greatly affected the private sector.
Micheal Longole, the Karamoja Region Police spokesperson said the situation was under control, adding that there was no need for the tourists to stop touring Karamoja.
“What’s happening now is just isolated incidents and we are on top of the situation,” he said.