Somalia: Famine looms in Somalia, but many ‘hunger hotspots’ are in deep trouble (21.09.2022)

The number of people facing life-threatening levels of hunger worldwide without immediate humanitarian aid, is expected to rise steeply in coming weeks, the UN said on Wednesday, in a new alert about looming famine in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 21, 2022 – In Somalia, “hundreds of thousands are already facing starvation today with staggering levels of malnutrition expected among children under five,” warned the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).“Large-scale deaths from hunger” are increasingly likely in the east African nation, the UN agencies continued, noting that unless “adequate” help arrives, analysts expect that by December, “as many as four children or two adults per 10,000 people, will die every day”.

Complex roots

In addition to the emergency already unfolding in Somalia, the UN agencies flagged 18 more deeply concerning “hunger hotspots”, whose problems have been created by conflict, drought, economic uncertainty, the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Humanitarians are particularly worried for Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, where a record 970,000 people “are expected to face catastrophic hunger and are starving or projected to starve or at risk of deterioration to catastrophic conditions, if no action is taken”, the UN agencies said.

This is 10 times more than six years ago, when only two countries had populations as badly food insecure, FAO and WFP noted, in a new report.

Urgent humanitarian action is needed and at scale in all of these at-risk countries “to save lives and livelihoods” and prevent famine, the UN agencies insisted.

Harsh winter harvest

According to FAO and WFP, acute food insecurity around the world will worsen from October to January.

In addition to Somalia, they highlighted that the problem was also dire in the wider Horn of Africa, where the longest drought in over 40 years is forecast to continue, pushing people “to the brink of starvation”.

Successive failed rains have destroyed people’s crops and killed their livestock “on which their survival depends”, said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, who warned that “people in the poorest countries” were most at risk from acute food security that was “rising fast and spreading across the world”.

FAO’s QU calls for massive aid scale-up

Vulnerable communities “have yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are suffering from the ripple effects of ongoing conflicts, in terms of prices, food and fertilizer supplies, as well as the climate emergency,” the FAO chief continued.

He insisted that “without a massively scaled-up humanitarian response” to sustain agriculture, “the situation will likely worsen in many countries in the coming months”.

Echoing that message, WFP Executive Director David Beasley appealed for immediate action to prevent people dying.

We urgently need to get help to those in grave danger of starvation in Somalia and the world’s other hunger hotspots,” he said.

Perfect storm of problems

This is the third time in 10 years that Somalia has been threatened with a devastating famine,” Mr. Beasley continued.

The famine in 2011 was caused by two consecutive failed rainy seasons as well as conflict. Today we’re staring at a perfect storm: a likely fifth consecutive failed rainy season that will see drought lasting well into 2023.”

In addition to soaring food prices, those most at risk from acute food insecurity also have “severely limited opportunities” to earn a living because of the pandemic, the WFP chief explained, as relief teams brace for famine in the Somali districts of Baidoa and Burhakaba in Bay region, come October.

Below the “highest alert” countries – identified as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen – the joint FAO-WFP report notes that the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Kenya, the Sahel, the Sudan and Syria are “of very high concern”, in addition to newcomers the Central African Republic and Pakistan.

Guatemala, Honduras and Malawi have also been added to the list of hunger hotspot countries, joining Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Barriers to aid

Humanitarian assistance is crucial to save lives and prevent starvation, death and the total collapse of livelihoods, FAO and WFP insist, while highlighting chronic access problems caused by “insecurity, administrative and bureaucratic impediments, movement restrictions and physical barriers” in 11 of the 19 hotspot countries.

This includes “all six of the countries where populations are facing or are projected to face starvation…or are at risk of deterioration towards catastrophic conditions”, they said.

Opinion: Minister Tumwebaze over-the-top tractor scheme…

There are about 10,694 parishes in the Republic. At this current time there are 4,000 tractors in both private and public ownership. Some of these are said not to be operational. However we don’t have an exact amount of working tractors or farming equipment that is working.

The golden boy of the regime and unopposed MP, Minister Frank Tumwebaze has a statement on the performance of the Tractor Scheme. We have seen the performance of Tumwebaze in the past. As the man tried to get everyone to register their SIM-Cards and unleash the 200 shillings tax OTT services on their smart-phone devices. So, we know the man is working and been a loyal subject of the National Resistance Movement.

Now that his the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries has released a statement on the 18th August 2022 about the Tractor Scheme. So, the newest idea of the NRM is to buy more tractor and get one in every parish. That’s to beat army-worms and combat food insecurity. The idea itself isn’t foolish or dumb in any sense. However, how will this government ever make this happen? Who will fund it and where will find the organizational skills to make it happen?

Because, the NRM regime has all the programs of the books. They have schemes and ideas out of this world. Nevertheless, over the years we have seen them turn into get-rich-schemes of the chosen elite and little-to-none service delivery. Should we think any different of this one? No, it is a continuation of others.

That’s why the statement of Tumwebaze mentions the SACCOs. NAADs, OWC and the newly minted Parish Development Model (PDM). The PDM that haven’t become functional or working of yet.

In addition, the Minister acknowledges that the Cabinet approved the operationalization of 19 Zonal Agricultural Mechanization/Irrigation Centres. However, by the time of the statement only 3 of these was operational and 2 are in the works. So, there is a long time before all the larger regions has this even. These are supposed to be up and be place of workshops, repair and get maintenance skills. Which is all a fine idea too, but shows how slow this process is.

In the medium term, the Tractor Scheme needs not only to make 16 Zonal Agricultural Mechanization/Irrigation Centres operational. They need to find funds and get tenders to buy at least over 6,000 tractors, which needs to be donated or designated to each parish.

What is also making this more expensive the need for monitoring device and software to be able to follow up on the usage of the tractors donated to the parishes. This is surely meant as a supplement and to advance the agricultural sector.

However, I wonder if Tumwebaze ever studied the Soviets, because this sort of out of their play-book: “Conceived as a voluntary union of peasants, the kolkhoz became the dominant form of agricultural enterprise as the result of a state program of expropriation of private holdings embarked on in 1929. Operational control was maintained by state authorities through the appointment of kolkhoz chairmen (nominally elected) and (until 1958) through political units in the machine-tractor stations (MTSs), which provided heavy equipment to kolkhozy in return for payments in kind of agricultural produce” (Britannica – kolkhoz).

That didn’t add more produce or make the production of the agricultural produce in the Soviet Union. These sorts of entities crippled the Kolkozy and the leaders tricked their numbers. So, this actually caused famine and more hardships.

We can wonder, if Tumwebaze ever looked into that or even cared to see how it worked. It is sort of ushering in the mechanical agricultural revolution by the parish model. In such a manner, that can be seen as similar to the ones of the Soviet.

There are so many questions to this… not only the funding and the supposed operation of it. After that… how is the oversight? What are the goals? Are it to buy over 6,000 tractors and that’s it? What happens after that?

If there is no plan or sort of objective after that. What does it really do? Except making the MAAIF busy and have something to say in Parliament. Peace.

Philippines: Marcos Jr. – All sugar isn’t sweet… Part II

BOC in Subic intercepted a cargo vessel from Thailand loaded with 7,000 metric tons or some 140,000 bags of sugar. The move comes after Pres. Marcos ordered the pursuit of smuggled sugar in the country amid its soaring prices” (ABS-CBN News, 18.08.2022).

Medalla: I have heard from Sec. Balisacan, they are now close to arriving at an agreement that food processing companies will be allowed to import at least half of their sugar needs. As you reduce demand from food processors, because they are allowed to import, this will increase supply to all other users, and hopefully reduce sugar prices” (ABS-CBN News, 18.08.2022).

In Manilla and in the Office of the President there is huge crisis surrounding sugar. The basic commodity used by industry and by ordinary consumers I.E. the citizen. There has already been outrage and been a public outcry over the Sugar Order No. 4 and the powers given to the former Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Leocardio S. Sebastian. It took only a months time from the appointment of him to the erratic scandal, which the whole administration is going through.

The 300,000 metric tons of sugar in the Sugar Order No. 4 was cancelled, but foreign imported sugar is already arriving in the ports. That’s why just this week there are reports for a shortage. Soda companies are claiming they lack sugar for the production. This being Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo. These are both popular soft-drinks who lacks sugar for their production.

While there is new proposals of a new Sugar Order only importing 150,000 tons of Sugar by October. While the government claims to be raiding warehouses and hoarders of sugar in the Republic. In such a way to curb the rising prices and the “lack” of Sugar in the market-place. That’s two very different approaches. Which is just very odd…

Because, if the nation has run out of sugar and has nothing on the market. How can the government go and say there hoarders of it? This means the Sugar mills and the owners of the distilleries are lying about the production and stockpiling it. While the prices are soaring in the ”lack” of it. While the government still insist to import and not use the stockpiled products. Since it still proposes to use the imported sugar.

It doesn’t help that the Office of the President has promised an investigation into the matter. More of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) members has resigned. While later the President plans to revise the body and it’s work.

On top of this is reported as well: “House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan files House Resolution 259 seeking a congressional inquiry into the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s ‘illegal’ order to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar” (CNN Philippines, 17.08.2022).

President Marcos Jr. who is not only the President, but also the head of the Department of Agriculture. This all fall onto him and his burden to carry. His signature of the first Sugar Order Volume 4 is there. He did discuss the Sugar Industry as a part in a meeting on the 1st of August ahead of the Sugar Order Volume 4, which was published on the 9th August 2022. That’s why everything that has transpired since then has been in connection with this.

The scandal isn’t looking any better by the day. It is only looking incompetent and lacking of focus. Since there are certain lacks of quality refined sugar for certain industries. While the prices and inflation are souring as well. That’s because of the needs and the lack of produced sugar. Even if the Department and such says there are. The producers wouldn’t say it would lack. Even if the farmers and the millers says there enough for everyone.

This is just a whole mess and so early in the Presidency. Surely, the President knows this is looking badly on him. Not only the Sugar Order Vol. 4, but the shortage and the industry as a whole. This is all hurting him and his only beginning. There is a reason why it seems out of control and without a well thought out plan. Since, they are only making patch-work and not a full sort of programme from the farmer to the producers or to the consumer. It is just what is needed to avoid one crisis and stagnate another one.

President Marcos Jr. has gotten into a pickle by taking the two roles at once. Instead of growing into the Presidency and showing his character as a leader. He wanted to a big man from the on-set. The burden and the possible work-load seem enormous. Might be prestigious to be both at the same time. However, this scandal shows it’s too much and to many details.

That’s why the Department of Agriculture would be better served with a professional and also another person. Who can follow Presidential Orders and such, but be in it day-to-day. Because, right now… it’s not only a scandal, but a hectic mess. The sort of business and government crisis, which could have been avoided. There is enough people knowing what is going on and who can have the head in the game. However, the President doesn’t seem up to it.

He just wants the glory, the titles and the power, which all the offices he resides in. Nevertheless, with all power, comes responsibility. That responsibility seem to much on him. He might mean well and think he has a purpose. Though the sugar and the sweetener it is… has exposed him and his lack of touch.

This is just bitter and not sweet. Marcos Jr. is just showing inept to do all of this and his Executive Secretary in the Office of the President cannot save him either. This is all on him and even if tries to deflect blame on everyone else. He is the head, not only of state, but of the Department too. The SRA is getting reorganized and there is a supposed investigation in the works.

However, what all of this showed is that he cannot carry this alone. The President cannot manage or have the ability face it all. There is to many stakeholders, priorities and needs to sufficiently get it done. That’s why his failing and somehow his not looking stronger, but looking incompetent.

Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Junior would be better off. He would be better of in the Malacañang Palace and being a full-time President. It looks like it would serve him much better and maybe he could have come with some orders from on high in the time of need. Instead his in a sea of trouble in a Department of Agriculture and doesn’t seem to know the way out. Peace.

Philippines: Foundation for Economic Freedom, INC. – FEF Statement on Taming Sugar Prices and Inflation (16.08.2022)

Ethiopia: Abiy plans to export wheat – while several of regions are hit by famine…

We are hearing reports that a Ship is on its way to Ethiopia carrying Wheat, and that famine is looming. All this is false information aimed at pre-emptively sabotaging the credibility of our Wheat export plans” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (14.08.2022).

The wheat will go to WFP’s operations in #Ethiopia. It’s one of many areas around the world where the near-complete halt of Ukrainian grain & food on the global market has made life even harder” (Abiy, 14.08.2022).

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali is claiming and down-talking yet again humanitarian aid. It isn’t many months ago when he spoke ill of “wheat-aid”. Therefore, this is one of his pet-pees and issues he wants to settle. The PM can want to be self-sufficient and be able to produce enough food for the Republic. There is nothing wrong in that and everyone should strive on it.

If we prevent wheat aid from entering Ethiopia, 70% of our problems will be solved. Ethiopia main problem is aid wheat. Together with aid wheat diseases and many other problems comes with. Stopping aid wheat means resolving most of our problems. After stopping aid wheat, we can create touristic areas. For example, can build a cafeterias in this place like we saw earlier today. Tourists go to Cape Town and South France. In our case. It’s sitting idle” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (October 2021).

However, in 2022 and at this very time… the United Nations or Humanitarian Organizations aren’t undermining the authorities or the Prosperity Party for that matter. No, they are just coming with aide to the ones in need, which isn’t only in the Tigray region that has been besieged for months. No, they have to go Somali (Ogaden) region, parts of Oromia region and Afar region too. There are so many people who needs help across the Republic.

OCHA reported it like this ten days ago: “The overall humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has significantly deteriorated in 2022 leading to increased humanitarian needs across the country due to ongoing conflict and violence, and climatic shocks such as the prolonged drought. More than 20 million people are to be targeted for humanitarian assistance and protection this year. Nearly three quarters of them are women and children” (OCHA, 05.08.2022).

There are millions of people who needs it now. Yes, there are fields that grows wheat in Ethiopia. However, that is clearly not sustainable or able to cope with the needs of the Republic. That farmers and the Ethiopian agriculture is able to produce and expand their production is fine. Nevertheless, that doesn’t solve the crisis or the famines which are occurring.

These famines aren’t created to undermine or create distress for the Prime Minister. No, they are either happening because of the policies of the Republic of blocking humanitarian aide to the Northern Ethiopia, in general to the Tigray Region, or it’s happening because of prolonged drought and climate, which no one controls. Even if the Prime Minister has promised technology to create rain the other year. Clearly, buying drones and bullets for his war has been more important to his whole reign.

We are seeing the attitude and the charisma of a self-absorbed man. Who thinks he can solve everything on his own. A man who don’t want interference and want to be self-sufficient, but doesn’t have the tools or ability to see the struggles now. Maybe the years in the Palace in Addis Ababa has made him forget about the plights of the commoner. Because they are struggling from the tip of Ogaden to the end of Tigray. He clearly don’t mind their issues and think the imported wheat is there to destroy his vision.

However, the wheat imports is only to save the lives of civilians within his Republic. He should be happy it is coming. Nevertheless, that’s too much to ask for a man who clearly don’t value those lives or the suffering of the citizens as a whole. Peace.

Philippines: President Marcos Jr. – All sugar isn’t sweet…

This week has been terrible for the President Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr. who has been caught into a web of scandal. This is involving the second office his holding, which is as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. That Marcos Jr. decided to be both the Head of State and the Minister of Agriculture has already backfired. Because, his now parts of or given powers to someone underneath him, which happens to be the Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture.

This week has proven that the President shouldn’t hold two offices at the same time, but would be better to have appointed a trusted a fellow to run it. Since, the mismanagement has come this quickly. It didn’t take longer to a scandal rocking him and now the turns of trying to shift the blames start.

We know today that the Undersecretary has resigned and apologised for the Sugar Order Volume 4, but the investigation is just launched. Therefore, the whole entirety will unfold. The signatures and the whole deal. As it started to it finished. We can really wonder what went down between the release of the Sugar Order Vol. 4 and the Meeting which the President presided over. That was only 8 days between and something has to be said there. They don’t just order 300,000 metric tons of sugar on a whim. There is some sort of planning, before execution and making the measures in the Sugar Regulatory Administration.

That’s why I have made this time of what has dripped out so far…

On the 15th July 2022 Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez on behalf of the President sent out a Memorandum giving Undersecretary of Agriculture, Leocardio S. Sebastian vast power within the Department of Agriculture. Not only the as the Chief of Staff of the Department, but many other powers invested in him. That Memorandum was from the Executive Secretary of the Office of the President and gave the Undersecretary his clear role.

1st August 2022:

NEWS UPDATE: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. presides a meeting as the secretary of the Department of Agriculture to discuss the course of actions that the department will take for the sugar and coconut industry” (PTVph, 01.08.2022).

9th August 2022:

The Sugar Regulatory Administration published Sugar Order Volume 4: “Second Sugar Import Program for Crop Year 2021-2022, which states the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar. The sugar was supposed to designated partly half of it to industrial users and the other half to the traders.

11th August 2022:

Undersecretary of Agriculture Leocardio S. Sebastian sends his resignation letter to President Marcos Jr. and apologises for the Sugar Order Volume 4. While also resigning from the post, which he only was appointed to in July.

12th August 2022:

“Heads are going to roll” following an investigation over the supposed “unauthorized” signing of a document directing the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles emphasized on Thursday. “An investigation is ongoing to determine whether any act that would cause the President to lose trust and confidence in his officials can be found or if there is malice or negligence involved. In such a case, if such findings are made, then the only determination left will be how many heads are going to roll,” Cruz-Angeles said in a press briefing. Angeles described as “illegal” Sugar Order No. 4 issued by the Sugar Regulatory Administration, which supposedly directs the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar. “The Chairman of the Sugar Regulatory Board is President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. As such, the chairman sets the date of any meetings or convening of the Sugar Regulatory Board and its agenda. No such meeting was authorized by the President or such a resolution likewise, was not authorized,” said Cruz-Angeles” (Alaine Allanigue – ‘Heads to roll over ‘unauthorized’ importation of 300,000 MT of sugar’ 12.08.2022, Philippine Information Agency – PIA).

We don’t know yet the whole scope of this, but the things are twisted together. There are missing pieces and more has to be unleashed on the masses. This here sugar scandal came early. It was only barely month after the Executive Secretary wrote the memorandum giving the Undersecretary vast powers to the Sugar purchase or imports was in order. That is saying something and the President has also signed on the Sugar Order Vol. 4. So, he had to knew and cannot act totally oblivious. The man cannot be that docile and not know what is going on in his department. That is something I have a hard time to believe.

Time will tell, but what we do know is that all sugar isn’t sweet. Certainly Marcos Jr. should be more careful ahead and he should reconsider the ability to both be the head of state and a secretary over a Department. Yes, he wants to do so show that he cares and priorities the sector. However, it would be better to craft legislation and policy changes as President. Than trying to control this, as well, as being the President. That seems to much to ask…

The investigation will now buy everyone time, but the truth will come out. This happen in such a short window and early in the administration. So, it is not like everyone has settled in or gotten used to the new offices. Therefore, this should be brief and quick. As parts of the paperwork is already online. The President can also be implicated, because he sat in the meeting on the 1st August and on the 9th August the Sugar Order Vol. 4 was published. An inquiry will even dig deeper and things tend to connect together. Peace.

Karamoja: Hon. Agnes Nandutu, over 2400 has died of starvation, but it doesn’t sound like it…

 

NUP taking food to Karamoja is just for cheap popularity. The government does things systematically. By the time NUP sent food, there was already food in Karamoja. NUP can’t even do 0.00% of what we did in Karamoja” (…) “There is no longer a crisis in Karamoja because we are now in charge. We have a strategic plan to ensure that there is food security in the region” – Hon. Agnes Nandutu (31.07.2022).

The Minister of Karamoja Affairs Hon. Agnes Nandutu is finally speaking out on NBS FaceOff on the food insecurity and army operation in the sub-region. However, she isn’t saying anything substantial and only comes of as arrogant. Certainly the little time she has had as an MP and Minister has changed her. The Independent NRM leaning MP is showing her true character now.

The state has ensured that over 2400 people has died of starvation. A crisis that was forewarned for months and while the UPDF had army operations there. The state had the ability and the time to help the people of Karamoja. Instead it chose to bring violence and possibly make it more insufferable. The Minister is taking anything to account here.

The National Unity Platform (NUP) is doing what they can and within their means. They are not a government and neither does they have the opportunity to seize or seek funds as such. The NRM and the government should do more. Agnes Nandutu her government is responsible for the deaths of civilians not only in the miliary operation, but of over 2400 civilians who died of starvation. This is showing how the state lacked the vision and the ability to organize help in time. That’s why people is dying and needlessly so. They are not a priority. If they had been, the monies had been scheduled in a supplementary budget like the funds for the UPDF operation in Karamoja. So, everyone knows what is important in the Republic.

Just as the Minister said that on TV today.

Just a few days ago… this was reported about the situation:

– According to latest updates reported by district officials to the World Food Programme, the total number of fatalities in 2022 caused by the current food insecurity crisis in Karamoja is 2,465.

– Most of the fatalities were children and elderly.

– The last Acute Food Insecurity IPC revealed that approximately 518,000 people are in urgent need of food assistance in Karamoja, with almost 428,000 individuals facing crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC3) and almost 90,000 in emergency levels (IPC4) in the period between March and July 2022. Also, 91,600 children and 9,500 pregnant women are projected to be acutely malnourished for the period February 2022-January 2023” (ECHO – Uganda (Karamoja subregion) – Acute food insecurity and malnutrition (DG ECHO, IPC, WFP, UNICEF, FEWSNET, local media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 26 July 2022).

It doesn’t sound like the crisis is over. The food insecurity is still at massive levels and the amounts of deaths only signals that. Each individual should be counted for and be addressed. This are the short-coming of the state. Who is more eager to usher in violence and come with big-guns. Than to actually come to people with aide or help. That is the gist here…

The Minister blames outside parties for help, which never can be able to sufficiently support or help the needy. However, they are at least giving and without hesitation. The state had the funds and the machinery to do so. The over 2400 people wouldn’t have died. However, these are now dead and it happened on your watch. That shows how the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs failed and also how the Office of the Prime Minister has failed as well. Since they are both implicated in this and has disaster preparedness as portfolio.

Agnes Nandutu, you belong back on TV, because your certainly not fit to be a minister. You cannot even muster the courage or care for the ones in dire need. Karamoja has been burning and starving. While you have remained silent and inactive. That has cost lives and your politicking over beans and posho given to the starving. Your a massive disappointment and would have been a feature on ‘Point Blank’ if your were still running it. Peace.

Karamoja: The NRM got money for the army, but not for the starving…

The recent surge in cattle theft and cross-border conflicts in Minister Kasiaja: Karamoja sub-region issues will continue to be addressed. In a recent supplementary budget, Government provided Shs.112.5 Billions to facilitate the UPDF to carry out operations” (91.2 Crooze FM, 14.06.2022).

More than half a million people are going hungry in Karamoja – Report” (…) “A new report indicates that the Karamoja region is undergoing a crisis of food insecurity and may slump into famine if there are no measures to reverse the situation immediately. The report on integrated food security phase classification also shows that Moroto and Kaabong districts are in a critical phase of acute malnutrition. While receiving the report, the government committed to implementing some of the short-term recommendations” (NTV Uganda, 14.06.2022).

We know that the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) launched Operation Usalama Kwa Wote in July 2021 and they have continued ever since. The UPDF and the authorities have burned villages and killed civilians in their manhunt for cattle-rustlers. However, there been no oversight or proof of their operation really stopping violence or the murders for cattle in the region.

The only thing that has been shown is that the government has killed around 700 civilians and there is no direct justification or proof of the need to do so. There is no direct proof of the use of firearm or report on the use of the weapon. People are just killed and dying because the UPDF said so.

In this regard… the budget priorities are very clear. As the Karamoja is getting funds for the operations of the UPDF in the region. However, there is nothing scheduled or funds to cover or help the people in need. Karamoja is possibly getting into famine and people are now going hungry. That is a sign that the government has failed this people. They are now in the hands of the government.

The UPDF seems to be more important than the civilians it is defending. Since, it has funds and operational means, but the public don’t have what they need. Neither does the state has the mechanisms or the institutions to help them. That’s why they are starving and not getting help. This shortfall has to be covered by either a UN Organizations, CSOs or NGOs. Because, they have ability and funds to come to their aide. Since, the state don’t pay it no mind and would only care if it was profitable.

Karamoja have been targeted and the army has intervened as it has… because the minerals and mining operations needs land. The villages and the people have to flee lands and the use of former methods is to shield their operation. Now it is even more evident as Karamoja is getting money for the army, but not the people in need. This has been forecasted by FEWSNET and others. It isn’t like it happened without any forewarning.

Karamoja was in a danger-zone and the army operations there wouldn’t make it any better. No, the state has addressed its own needs, but the needs of the population. The region has burned because of the army and the soldiers haven’t helped the farmers or the cattle-keepers. Instead it has possibly worsened it and created more internally displaced people. Therefore, it is striking that the UPDF gets funds, as a reported half a million will live in food insecurity and live in hunger.

I don’t see the state doing much or taking action about it. This will most likely spiral into a famine. Because, the state doesn’t have mechanisms or the willpower to do what is necessary now. That’s because the ministries and the institutions haven’t been invested into and neither is there a working protocol for cases like these. That’s for the simple reason: The International Community and their aid organizations are the shortfall for the inept and corrupt elites of Kampala.

That’s why the Minister of Karamoja will do nothing and neither will anyone associated with it. They are awaiting orders from the Office of the Prime Minister and the State House. Which will wait and we shouldn’t expect any miracles. The army is stationed here and they will not bring hope to a troubled region. A region that has burned and now it’s soon starving too. It doesn’t get a minute of peace or hope. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni cannot govern… as he blames the colonial British for poverty in 2022…

Here we go again… Museveni blames the ones before him for his inaction and lack of ability to govern…

President Museveni said this words to the leaders from Acholi and Lango sub-region on Saturday:

““When the colonials came here, they made our people grow the crops they wanted: cotton, tobacco, coffee, tea, and then our leaders just copied what the colonialists told them…So, when I studied the issue, I could see danger, number one was only working for the stomach” (…) “They (locals) must work for the stomach and the pocket. But secondly, even the ones who are working for the pocket do so without cura (calculations). That is how you get West Nile growing tobacco. If you grow tobacco on one acre, you will never get out of poverty…” (Oketch & Akullo, 2022).

Since 26th January 1986 the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has been in power. The Ugandan republic has been freed from the colonial toils from 9th October 1962, which is close too 60 years of independence from the United Kingdom or the British. That’s a long time ago and there been several of administrations between Museveni and the British. Therefore, his really stinging it here.

For a man that was supposed to bring “fundamental change” and be different than his predecessors is saying he couldn’t change things. A man that has been in office since 1986 and for 36 years as the heads of state. If someone had the time or the ability as an executive and could appoint the right people in the Republic. That would be the likes of Museveni.

Museveni could have changed the policies, the incentives and the opportunities for the farmers. The President could decree and push the Ministry of Agricultural, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) into new ways of subsidizing or help farmers to choose the right cash-crops. However, the regime haven’t and certainly not tried. They are to busy making cash-grabs, land-grabs and quick-get-rich-schemes for that to fall on death-ears.

President Museveni has had the powers and the ability to make vast difference. He could have had parastatals or government institutions within MAAIF who could do bidding and ensure the sector was taken care off. The President has a choice but has chosen not too. That’s why his blaming Obote and the colonial leaders of the past.

The NRM could have done something, but haven’t done it all. It is like they had their hands tied and wasn’t able to do anything. For all of these years the President was in power. Nothing substantial did happen and he was powerless. That’s why his blaming the colonial leadership and previous leaders after ruling the Republic for 36 years. This is telling of how unsuccessful his at this point. Peace.

Reference:

Bill Oketch & Charity Akullo – ‘Museveni blames past regimes for poverty’ 13.06.2022, Daily Monitor, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/museveni-blames-past-regimes-for-poverty-3846976

Teso Affairs: In the Teso Sub-Region they are eating termites to survive the famine!

Residents of the hunger stricken areas in Teso region are now forced to eat termites due the current hunger crisis caused by last year and this year’s prolonged drought. Florence Kulume a mother of nine and a resident of Atira sub county in Serere district goes early morning to look for grass, sort it straight before washing it with roots of a certain tree locally known as “Ekoboi” in Ateso which is sour and loved by termites” (Kampala Dispatch – ‘Starving families in Teso resort to eating termites, Karimojong flee to Kenya’ 13.06.2022).

The Teso Sub-Region is hit with food insecurity yet again. It seems like the Teso Affairs and the state haven’t followed previous recommendations or any sort of thing. As the problems of past is revisiting the area. An area where the state has invested in a fruit factory, the Soroti Fruit Factory, but not secured the farmers or the agricultural sector as a whole. Since, within a few years time and a new drought settles in. The same issue of hunger and starvations sets in.

I have to use the sentiment of a farmer from the last time in 2017. Because the situation hasn’t changed but its more of the same.

Still, a local farmer wrote a piece to the Chimp Reports that has some valuable assessments:

The current hunger in Teso has largely been attributed to drought, while this assertion may hold some truths; there is increasingly evidence that the Ministry of Teso Affairs has not done its part. Hunger in Teso is as a result of both internal and external factors. For many years, the region has been experiencing declining productivity and this was recently worsened by drought. For districts like Ngora, Bukedia and Kumi, land fragmentation has heavily affected productivity” (…) “Clearly besides drought, Teso food systems are in a crisis and our expectation was that the Ministry of Teso affairs working with other stakeholders would work to address this problem. Our view is that hunger should be among the ‘affairs’ that Ministry of Teso Affairs should be engaged in. Agriculture remains a major livelihood for our people in Teso and therefore we require urgent response from Ministry of Teso Affairs on its plans to help our people get out of the current hunger crisis” (Akorikin, 2017).

Minister of State for Teso Affairs, Hon. Christine Aporu Amongin has to accept her faults and lack of good governance. The state haven’t done their due diligence or tried to mitigate it. That’s why it’s happening again after 5 years. We know the state will come with excuses. Last time around another minister blamed the suffering communities for selling their crops and whatnot to get money to stay alive. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect much from the state or the ministries in question.

The Office of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness should together with the Teso Affairs make some mechanisms and help people out. Not only with the direct aid and need food right now. That what they should do and in such a manner that people can eat nutritious food.

Now that it has happen for the second time in 5 years. The state needs to do more than short-term relief. There is a need for more food security mechanisms that actually can help the farmers and the hit communities in the Teso sub-region. Peace.

Reference:

Akorikin, Francis – ‘OPINION: Government Should Review the Relevance of Ministry of Teso Affairs’ (05.05.2017) link: https://www.chimpreports.com/opinion-government-should-review-the-relevance-of-ministry-of-teso-affairs/

%d bloggers like this: