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Charity Hands of Youths Reach Out To Hunger Stricken Karamojong Community

By Steven Enatu

 

TESO

 

Etop Blessing Uganda foundation (EBUF) in conjunction with Teso Students Development Association have extended relief aid to several families in Napak district, one of the most drought-hit and hunger affected areas in Karamojong sub region.

 

The relief aid that includes 1500kgs of maize flour and 600kgs of Beans were delivered yesterday, 3rd August, 2022 by the team of youths to the Sub County of Lokopo Sub County In Napak to be distributed to 300 hunger most affected households in the district.

 

Blessing Uganda foundation is a youth’s led charity organization based in Jinja but extending its helping hand to the most vulnerable across Uganda with the little they get.

 

Joseph Ojatum, the founder EBUF said that the relief aid is part of their quest in conjunction with Teso Students Development Association and Karamojong Student Development Association to unite Teso-Karamoja and also bring to an end poverty.

 

“This is an effort to help our community of people worst hit by hunger in Karamoja sub region. Adding that their move won’t only stop in delivering aid but also to lobby from government for irrigation schemes and valley dams to help in farming during dry spells,” he said.

 

The group of youths recently held a peace dialogue between the Karamoja youths and Teso to mend deteriorating relationship between the two communities.

 

Ojatum said that the food they offered is not really enough but it could help the affected people prepare a meal to enable them get strength and move on.

 

“We believe everyone has a right to life free of poverty and hunger. Having food and decent shelter is a right of every human being and therefore in doing this, we are trying to contribute to having a secure and more equitable society,” he said.

 

John Lobur, the Parish Chief Kayepas in Napak District, one of the parishes benefiting from the relief aid said the situation in the District is currently alarming based on the report from most parish chiefs. The district of Napak and the entire Karamoja Sub Region still faces insecurity and low rainfall.”

 

“Inconsistent weather pattern as you can see has affected the farm lands and the aspect of food security is not realizable. In the gardens, crops are not grown, others are drying up,” Lobur said.

 

The community had been earning a living from charcoal burning and fire wood but the Sub County of Lokopo has banned charcoal burning and felling of trees down.

 

“Sometime we even arrested some who were felling trees to burn charcoal, we have advised them now to just cut branches and use for firewood and sell rather than cutting the whole tree,” he said.

 

Lobur appealed to well-wishers and organizations to continuously support the affected communities especially in Napak which he said is largely affected yet uncovered like areas of Amoruakwanagt which they are spotting for a future parish.

 

“People are not lazy but the weather has often betrayed them, leaving some starving. My people either get meals by chance or nothing at all,” Lobur stated.

 

Alfred Oteger, the National chairperson Teso Student Development Association said as students they will continue mobilizing within their means to support the community not forgetting the move to reunite Iteso and Karamoja.

 

“We want to build a lost lasting unity between Iteso and Karamoja aside from this move to restore hope in their lives” he said.

 

Across the region, about 91,600 children and 9,500 pregnant or breastfeeding women are suffering from acute malnutrition and need treatment, according to the latest assessment by humanitarian agencies and foreign donors.

 

Insecurity, cattle rustling, COVID-19 after shock, rising food prices, climate change and limited resources are some of the factors pushing thousands of Karimojong households into destitution, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released in Kampala on June 8.

 

Karamoja is one of the poorest regions in Uganda with a poverty rate of 66% – more than three times the national poverty rate.

 

But this is the first time in three years that all the nine districts of Karamoja; Abim, Amudat, Kaabong, Karenga, Kotido, Moroto, Nabilatuk, Nakapiripit and Napak are at food crisis level or worse.

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