Moroto, Uganda | Independent | The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has issued recommendations to address the pressing problem of hunger in the Karamoja subregion. In its 25th annual report submitted to parliament, UHRC Chairman Mariam Wangadia said the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is working to reduce the risk of early droughts as a means of alleviating the dire situation. He stressed the need to prioritize the omens. situation.
The report called on Congress to expedite passage of the National Food and Nutrition Act, which aims to protect the right to food and curb acts that impede access to food. Wangadia submitted the report to Parliament Secretary Adolph Mwesige Kasaija on behalf of Speaker Anita Amon. Multiple factors contributed to the horrific death toll in Karamoja, the report said.
These include variable weather, erratic rainfall patterns, low crop yields, insecurity, increased raids, loss of livestock due to drought, destruction of crops by animals, poverty and alcoholism. In 2022 alone, the region experienced a tragic catastrophe that claimed 2,124 lives. The report highlights findings from the Integrated Food Security Classification (IPC), revealing that 41 per cent of Karamoja’s population, or a total of 518,000 people, face high levels of severe food insecurity.
The districts most severely affected by the crisis were Kabon, Kotido and Moroto. Other districts such as Nabilatuk, Napak, Amdat, Avim, Nakapiripirit and Karenga also face severe food insecurity. The report also documents specific incidents, including the deaths of eight people in Kapedo and Kawalacol counties in Karenga district earlier this year. These tragic events underscore the urgency of addressing the dire situation facing residents of the region.
The report also found that Caabong experienced 225 deaths from starvation and related diseases across multiple subcounties. Napak recorded 188 deaths between June and August. Kotido district had the highest number of deaths, with 19 administrative units reporting a total of 1,676 deaths. This alarming figure was largely driven by a prolonged drought and subsequent starvation.
Notable cantons severely affected by the famine include Lenggen, Katcheri Town Council, Langloo, Malou and Kanar. In response to these challenges, the UHRC recommended that the Ministry of Defense and Police, operating under the Ministry of Interior, strengthen security for livestock kraal and continue ongoing disarmament efforts in the Karamoja subregion.
The report also called on the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to prioritize budget allocations to Karamoja. These funds will facilitate the expansion of agricultural extension services, the development of water infrastructure to support livestock farming and small-scale irrigation, and other necessary interventions.
The Chair drew attention to the increasing number of complaints being made to the UHRC. A total of 4,370 complaints were registered in 2022, a significant increase from the previous year’s 3,624 complaints.
This trend highlights the urgent need to address the multifaceted challenges facing the Ugandan people. Congress Secretary Adolph Mwesige Kasaija acknowledged the UHRC’s insightful analysis of key issues such as hunger, starvation, landslides and disease epidemics such as Ebola and the COVID-19 pandemic. Praised the comprehensive report.