Released in Kampala today, the ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Livelihoods in Karamoja’ found that temperatures have been rising in Karamoja over the last 35 years.
KAMPALA, Uganda, March 20, 2017 – A new study carried out by the Government of Uganda and its partners has found a new weather pattern that threatens to worsen food insecurity in the Karamoja region if no action is taken.
The study found that the average monthly rainfall in the region increased over the last 35 years and that the rainy season is now longer by two months. However, the rains – which now fall from around March to the end of the year – increasingly varied in volumes. This unpredictability was found to undermine agricultural production, thereby threatening to aggravate food insecurity in Karamoja.
Released in Kampala today, the ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Livelihoods in Karamoja’ found that temperatures have been rising in Karamoja over the last 35 years.
The rising temperatures threaten to increase the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in the region, therefore reducing availability of water for crops and animals. This too undermines food security.
A large majority of people in Karamoja, particularly women, were not aware that changes to the climate had been taking place over decades, the study states. However, most of the people that had perceived changes to the climate had not taken any action to adapt, typically because they did not know how to do so. Where trees were planted as an adaptation measure, the sale of charcoal and firewood were also a common measure that people took in response to climate-related crop failure.
Sponsored by the Swedish Government, the study was carried out in 2016 by the Ministry of Water and Environment with support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the CGIAR Consortium’s Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.
The Uganda Minister for Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, said today, “These are significant findings that threaten any hope for Uganda achieving its Vision 2040 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), if no immediate action is taken.”
Cheptoris said that his Ministry was already calling for a national and regional response, advocating for climate change sensitive approaches across all Government sectors, educating the population about climate change, and undertaking emissions profiles.
“Karamoja’s population is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which is highly vulnerable to climate change,” said El Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director for Uganda. “However, little has been known previously about the impacts of climate change on food security, and in particular, the ability of households in the region to adapt.”
WFP hopes that the findings and recommendations of the study will contribute to efforts toward appropriate adaptation measures while helping to identify policies that will safeguard the most vulnerable communities in Karamoja.
The study recommended that the Government and its partners increase investments in water harvesting and agroforestry schemes, education of the people, improved access to climate change information and the cultivation of drought-resistant crop varieties.
Within the Ministry of Water and Environment, the study was carried out by the Climate Change Department and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority.
The Republic of Uganda has certain areas that have been affected with the drought and the lacking rain, which has affected the yields and output of food. The areas that has been in dire straits since El-Nino is in Teso, Karamoja and West Nile; these areas are in different stages, but all as worrying as the 1.6 million people are in a crisis situation, while 26% of all population or 9.3 million people are in a stressed situation. Let’s take a deep breath and look at the numbers coming from the offices of Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda. That has delivered this numbers and they are worrying.
“An estimated 1.6 million people (5% of the total population) are in Crisis situation. Those populations are found in Central 1 (0.58 million); Karamoja (0.12 million), Teso (0.2 million), East Central (0.38 million) and South Western (0.31 million) regions. This population has widening food consumption gaps with deteriorating dietary diversity and high malnutrition rates. They are found in Central 1 (0.58 million), Karamoja (0.12 million), Teso (0.2 million), East Central (0.38 million) and South Western (0.31 million) regions. The affected population includes the poorest households with poor food consumption score, low meal frequencies of up to 1 meal a day and low dietary diversity of less than 3 food groups. They have poor purchasing power as their incomes are low and no food stocks at household level. They are mainly coping through food assistance, remittances from relatives, begging, stealing food, wild food gathering and irreversible sale of productive assets to buy food. This population currently needs assistance to bridge the widening food consumption gaps and avert worsening malnutrition” (Office of the Prime Minister, 2017).
You can wonder what is the plan of the Republic when they know that the people have poor purchasing power, while the dwindling yields of the small-farming in these regions, doesn’t have the purchasing power of central regions. The trades and lacking production has equally hurt these citizens in Teso and Karamoja. Therefore the drought and lacking rain-fall has made the situation worse, as much as the rising refugee camps also getting aid and support from United Nation organization. While the republic have not galvanized agricultural structures and supported the citizens in dire need. This shows that the state has forgotten the reason for its existence. But there are more!
“An estimated 9.3 million people (26% of the total population) are experiencing Stressed situation. Those populations are in East Central (1.88 million); South Western (1.24 million), Teso (1.1 million) and West Nile (1.04 million) regions. This population has minimum adequate food consumption, employing insurance strategies and are unable to afford some essential non-food expenditures. The prolonged dry spell due to La Nina phenomenon coupled with increasing incidences of crop and livestock pests and diseases such as Cassava Brown Streak, Cassava Mosaic, maize stalk borer, striga and Banana Bacterial Wilt grossly affected production reducing the availability and accessibility of food for this population. The low crop and livestock production negatively impacted household food stocks leading to increased reliance on markets for food. Increasing demand from external markets has induced food price increases, making it difficult for poor households to access food from the market. Deteriorating water and pasture conditions mainly in the cattle corridor have resulted in migrations of livestock keepers, reduction in livestock production and increased spread of livestock diseases. The over whelming influx of refugees from South Sudan has increased demand for food and services in West Nile region” (Office of the Prime Minister, 2017).
So it is bad that 1.6 million people are lacking resource, possibility to produce food, but also that the state doesn’t deliver help or aid to the people. The other numbers of affected people, shows even more the systematic defaults of the state to achieve good production of agricultural output, as the problems with crops, livestock and diseases that shown with Cassava Brown Strak, Cassava Mosaic, Maize Stalk Borer, Sriga and Banana Bacterial Wilt. All of these should be worked on and nourished by the state, through agricultural programs that stops the spread of diseases. This should be important at this stage by not only the Office of the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda. Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja should have used the institutions to find solutions to the added strains in the agricultural industries, together with one of his State Ministers.
That the Ministry of Agriculture and Hon. Ssempijja has been lacking guidance as well as funding, most been shown when the millions of affected citizens are the result of little or no plan on important industry as it is. Where so many work and could need state structures to help and guide. There are lacking instruments and use of government institutions to help out in the dire need. Even find out ways to stop the growing problems that makes such a big part of population affected. When a state has 26% of it affected by various issues and the State can find ways to sort it out, than that should be priority, not to buy airplanes and cut taxes for the MPs, but to fix the agricultural yields and water-irrigation that needs. Peace.
A Publication of the Office of the Prime Minister – Department of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Management – “The Official Government of Uganda Inter- Ministerial/Agencies Monthly National Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning Bulletin
15th FEBRUARY to 15th MARCH 2017” Volume 01. Series No. 01. Issues No. 04.
FAO, UNICEF and WFP launch joint resilience strategy to improve well-being of Karimojong
KAMPALA – Three United Nations agencies in Uganda are implementing a new multi-year resilience strategy to help transform the lives of vulnerable people in the Karamoja region of North Eastern Uganda.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are combining their efforts to empower households and communities and to strengthen government capacities. Together, they will work to enable the people of Karamoja to recover, reorganize themselves and move forward after experiencing external stresses and disturbances, including droughts or floods.
The Joint Resilience Strategy for Karamoja Region will focus on four areas: diversifying livelihood strategies and intensifying production in order to increase household income and improve food security; improving basic social services to strengthen vulnerable households’ human capital; establishing predictable safety nets; and strengthening disaster risk management support.
The FAO Country Representative, Mr. Alhaji Jallow, said, “This is an extremely significant development. It is a commitment to collaboration, efficiency and demonstration of results in Karamoja.” Working collectively, he said, the agencies will multiply the impact of their work, reduce transaction costs for communities and the government, and allow individual organizations to more powerfully use their experience in strengthening service delivery systems.
Karamoja is vulnerable to multiple stresses and shocks, including climatic, economic, conflict and health-related challenges. According to the regional Resilience Analysis Unit, the main shocks and stresses for Karamoja include erratic and uneven rainfall, livestock disease outbreaks, crop pests, high food prices, food insecurity, livestock losses, inadequate access to education and health services, and inadequate access to water and sanitation.
The Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Aida Girma, said, “This collaboration will strengthen basic services for children and women that will increase their resilience to shocks and help to keep them alive, healthy, in school and protected.” She also said that building household resilience cannot be sustained unless the overall system to deliver the services is strengthened.
The acting WFP Country Director, Mr Michael Dunford, said, “While Karamoja continues to face significant socio-economic challenges, partly due to climate change, opportunities for development have never been more ripe. With increased security, reduced poverty levels and a renewed commitment by the government, partners can achieve more through enhanced collaboration.”
Each of the three agencies has more than 20 years’ experience working with communities in Karamoja. Together, they represent 90 percent of the United Nations’ activities in the region.
FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.orgor follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org or follow UNICEF on Facebook and Twitter.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries. Follow WFP on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_africa
Today the Go-Forward Group and the TDA Joint Presidential Candidate have been in hot water all day. Yesterday in Northern Uganda there we’re rumors and reports about booing him and making mockery of him while on stage because of his deliverance in NRM government. That is not something I will focus on, because with his history in mind. It is understandable, wish they would do the same to Mzee though! But then they the Police and Crime Preventers would make issues so understand their silence when he entered the town in Karamoja. I wish I was writing something profound and deep, meaningful and giving. Instead I litter of the sadness and tragedy that follows the Go-Forward and the TDA supporters and team.
Today in Kabong Town in Kaabong district the public and citizens we’re expected and told to wear NRM t-shirts. While the town and people knew that Amama Mbabazi we’re expected to hold a campaign rally there. DPC Peter Cherome has made his people busy today and the forcing the public to wear NRM clothes is just the beginning.
Well, Amama Mbabazi tried to visit Kidepo National Park, but the Police blocked it and closed it. So he could not check the conservation and resettlement of the animals in the National Park. That is not allowed I suppose! Yeah, it is not a prayer house? Not a school? Not a, well, house with sick people called Hospital! So why can’t and where is the rules from the Electoral Commission or Police stopping his movement? Please explain?
This morning in Kabale this happen:
“Hon. Stephen Kalibba, the former Prime Minister for Tooro Kingdom, and former Member of Parliament who has been Go Forward Cordinator for Tooro and Rwenzori sub-regions has defected to NRM”.
Yesterday in Bukedea district:
The Amama Mbabazi aid in Bukedea district we’re attacked and flocked by local NRM supporters and badly hurt. The pictures of the man are spreading online; the sadness of how the NRM-Regime goes against their opposition. I will not show the picture, but think the story should be told!
Reports from Amudat yesterday:
“Currently happening in Amudat one of the districts from Karamoja region the mobilizers of Hon. Amama Mbabazi have been identified and bundled in different cars including Police cars forcefully now crossing to Kenya”.
In Ntungamo and aftermath of the clashes in the town last year:
“Eleven supporters of independent Presidential Candidate Amama Mbabazi who were charged with assault, causing grievous harm and malicious damage to property, have been remanded for seven more days at Ntungamo Central Prison, due to lack of sureties and legal representation” (…)”Seven of them were first remanded five days ago after pleading not guilty, to the charges presented to them before Grade One Magistrate Richard Ndangwa. The magistrate said he needed more time to peruse through documents tendered in court by their sureties before granting them bail”.
Amama Mbabazi Security Team involved in a car crash:
“Three people were this morning injured in an accident involving members of the Security Team accompanying Presidential Candidate Amama Mbabazi to Karamoja Sub region. The team was on the way to Kaabong and Abim districts where Mbabazi is expected to hold a rally this afternoon when their vehicle, a Toyota Super Custom, registration number UAT 654Z swerved off the road overturning three times”.
“No one showed visible injuries at first but three of them collapsed and were rushed to a nearby hospital back to Moroto,” said the former Director-General of Uganda’s External Security Organisation Mr David Pulko, now working as Mr Mbabazi’s campaign mobiliser.
If you though this we’re worse. The planned campaign rally in Kabong town we’re blocked by Police and had to be held 70 kilometers away. This was happening today while the IGP Kale Kayihura told about 600 peaceful campaign rallies during the election periods. Not about the dirty dozen actions of his police in opposition Presidential Candidates hardships to actually work during the so called harmonized and Election Road Map worked together with Badru Kiggundu’s The Electoral Commission. Well, Hon. Amama Mbabazi had to move his main campaign rally because the local Police Force decided to do him wrong and he had to have the campaign rally in Karenga.
There been too much sadness brought to the table. Amama Mbabazi finally getting the Dr. Kizza Besigye treatment and harassment; nobody wishes to get it or feel the pain of humiliation and following of the police and governmental forces together with NRM-Supporters in the districts. Therefore the violence and extent of viciousness coming forward is dramatic and this just 45 days before the polls and general election proves that the NRM can only win on intimidation and fear, not on certainty of their political craft.
2nd Update of the hardship of the Go-Forward which continued after the publish of this article!
Updated after first publish:
Amama Mbabazi we’re supposed to be attending and sharing his opinion on the Radio channel of Karamoja (Voice of Karamoja), but the Police continued their unbiased work and blocked him from entering the Radio’s premisis as the gentlemen of IGP Kale Kayihura usually do. Another proof of yet another type of place that other Presidential Candidates… can’t enter on their campaign trail. Be so very proud of your hardwork Police men in Northern Uganda hope you get your pay on time as teachers have struggled with in recent years in Uganda. Surely hope Mzee pays you well for tornmenting and harassing opposition candidates! Peace.