KOTIDO, UGANDA: Fourteen sub counties in Kotido district have missed out on the first batch of relief food dispatched to Karamoja as hunger deepens. Kotido district comprises 19 sub-counties.
Early last week, the government kicked off relief food distribution in Karamoja sub-region following the dire food insecurity where an estimated 900 people have died of hunger. Kotido district is the most affected.
Paul Komol Lotee, the LCV chairperson of Kotido district says that people are still struggling to find food and asks the government to expedite the procurement process because they have continued registering deaths resulting from hunger.
Lotee says that the little food they received from the office of the prime minister was only distributed to five sub-counties but did not reach every household. According to Lotee, the district is now at a tipping point of hunger warning that the cases of death might double if the government delays with food relief.
Komol noted that the escalating food prices have worsened the situation and the only hope to save people’s lives is humanitarian assistance.
John Lokure, a resident of Napumpum sub-county said everyone is affected by hunger and there should be general distribution of relief food to all the households without discrimination. Lokure blamed the district authorities for giving out food to a few individuals while leaving out the majority starving.
He urged the local leaders to advocate for food that will reach everyone instead of bringing it in bits, saying this may cause violence among the communities. Joseph Lomongin, the Kotido Chief Administrative Officer said that several households are on the brink of starvation but their main target was in the hardest hit sub counties.
Lomongin said when they received reports of deaths resulting from starvation, he convened a meeting with the sub county chiefs to generate the list of households that were worst hit so that they can save them with emergency food relief.
He told URN that the relief food the district received was from the office of the prime minister and they are still waiting for the one government will procure at Shs 135billion.
“The moment food arrives, we shall rapidly scale up food distribution to everyone, I appeal to the government to send the food urgently so we can save the population from starvation’’ he said. Lomongin noted that they have continued receiving cases of people dying of starvation.
Mary Gorretti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs while in Moroto last week said the Shs 135billion hunger project will run for the next three months starting in August this year. Kitutu revealed that so far, over 2000 metric tonnes of maize flour and beans had been procured in the first phase and are being delivered to sub counties in Karamoja sub region.
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