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OPM food relief served as single meal in Katakwi

Katakwi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents in Dadas village, Akoboi sub county in Katakwi district on Thursday converged to prepare a meal that was donated by the Office of the Prime Minister-OPM.

The decision was arrived at after the authorities were stuck on how to identify the most vulnerable households among the starving population in the area. The village with a population of more than 2,000 people was served with 60 kilograms of maize grain and 30 kilograms of beans.

Statistics from the district indicate that more than half of the 46,949 people in Katakwi are starving, with the majority undergoing severe food shortages. The government delivered food relief comprising 40,000 kilgrams of maize grain and 20,000 kilograms of beans to the district recently as an intervention to the hunger situation.

According to Geoffrey Omolo, all the 20 sub-counties in the district are affected by the food shortage with most of the population starving. He says that the district failed to select the most vulnerable people among the thousands of people starving in the community, prompting the district to send food to the sub-counties.

Omolo says that Dadas is one of the most populated villages in Katakwi where the majority of households sleep on empty stomachs.

Omolo adds that some people have started stealing the little food that is maturing in a few gardens.

Glades Alemukori, the mother of seven in Dadas village says she last had a decent meal with her family on Saturday. “At the moment, a basin of cassava (measuring approximately 20 kilograms) costs 40,000 Shillings. As a family, we don’t have any source of income to help raise this money unless somebody offers garden work in the village. But there’s no rain for any garden work! We live by the mercy of God”, she said.

The rapid food security assessment conducted last month indicates that ground crop failure is above 60 percent with sweet potatoes and soya beans worst hit with 80 percent. This is majorly attributed to the drought that affected the first planting season in the region.

Robinah Nabbanja, the Prime Minister while in Kumi district said that the government is considering Teso as one of the sub-regions affected by hunger.

On Tuesday, the government allocated 135 billion Shillings to address the food situation in the Karamoja sub-region. Teso sub-region is food baskets for the Karamoja sub-region.



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