“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.
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/