Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders from Karamoja sub-region are in Lira to promote alternative sources of livelihood, which will end cattle rustling.
The delegation from Nabilatuk and Moroto districts in Karamoja region are visiting Lira for exposure and meeting aimed at generating new ideas and possible partnerships that will spur the development of the Karamoja sub-region as a whole.
The Karamojong are the largest group of herdsmen in Northern Uganda and are known for rustling cattle amongst themselves and sometimes from the neighbouring districts. The visit is aimed at building good relationships between Karamoja and Lango sub-regions and expanding the market for products from both sides.
With support from the Justice and Peace Commission of Moroto Diocese, the team paid a courtesy visit to Lira city council on Friday where they briefed the technical and political staff. They also visited Mukwano industries, Mt Meru ltd and Beb Wine factory in the industrial park.
Feddal Fitsum, the Advisor Justice and Peace Commission explained that the visit was triggered by issues raised at community dialogues with the hope of finding a lasting solution to conflicts in Karamoja sub-region.
Paul Lukol, the LCV Chairperson of Nabilatuk District explained that interventions such as forceful disarmament and inter-community dialogue did not yield fruits, a reason they opted to find solutions from the nearby districts.
Lukol is optimistic that they will be able to diversify the livelihood of the people in Karamoja through trade and commerce.
The same idea is shared by Celestina Narika, the coordinator of Justice and Peace commission Moroto Diocese and Emmanuel Lokii, a councillor from Moroto who says that because the people of Karamoja believe in cattle as their only source of livelihood, the team will go back to preach mindset change to help the community members brace for hard work.
Milton Odongo, the Nabilatuk Resident District Commissioner who led the delegation explained that after the visit, the team will be able to mobilize their voters into embracing peace and development. According to Odongo, Karamoja has fertile land and energetic youth who can engage in Agriculture as a business.
Lawrence Egole, the Lira City Resident Commissioner who says the community of Karamoja are learned people, advised the leaders to put in use what they have learnt to ensure that Karamoja grows.
On the other hand, Sam Atul, the Lira City mayor is optimistic that the two sub-regions can concurrently develop because both have opportunities like minerals in Karamoja and industries in Lira which each can benefit from.
The team are expected to visit Lira University teaching hospital and Olweny Rice scheme on Saturday.