“There is a lot of fake news about what is happening. We have been told that 11 people have died but that is not true. No one has died as a result of the drought and we are working round the clock to ensure that no one dies of hunger” – Deputy President William Ruto
The Deputy President William Ruto better just shut-up, listen to some advice and do something sincere, if it is first time in his life since he left the role as a wandering preacher. It is time for the hustler, the grand standing man of big PR Stunts to act swiftly and actually coordinate the government combined with the whole Nairobi machinery and all authorities. To ensure that the 1 million whose in jeopardy over a warned drought in Turkana gets help.
This is if the DP cares or even has a heart, unless he wants to continue to live lavish and enriching himself on others tragedy, because that is what he does. He sits in air-conditioned home, with a nice green garden, big pool and expensive cars. While fellow citizens go without food for days, because the DP cannot do his, neither any of the other Cabinet Secretaries.
This is really insulting to the people of Turkana. A people who deserves the state to act upon this. Even some people have suggested that its happen every ten years in the region. This means, the state has known about this, as this has happen every ten year. Not only the possible FEWS NET warning in December, which stated this and the state didn’t upon that. Not the Local Government, neither the National Government. They both didn’t act or see it fit to act differently, as the drought, the shortfall of rain was on the horizon. Still, they didn’t think of the consequences, because they are living good, secured and has a pantry with food, anyway.
There been reports of dead in various of villages and counties, however, the state does whatever it can to downplay this. Which is a disgrace, not only to the deceased, but to the public, which knows better. It is insulting to the ones who are struggling and lacking the basics, because the state didn’t plan to grain storage, education in caring for the environment or lean months. Alas, the state haven’t prepared or secured, the food insecurity, which it should have. Instead, they have busy scheduling corruption scandals.
The Jubilee, the DP and the cabinet combined with the local government in the drought hit region. Got to act, wisely and with measures to secure the lives at stake in Turkana. That is, if they really care or more preoccupied with keeping power by any means, while citizens are starving… it is happening on their watch. Still, they are trying to deflect that, its one million citizens who struggles to eat. They got nothing and awaiting handouts, because the state haven’t been concerned about their food insecurity.
DP Ruto, shut-up, listen and take some advice. DP Ruto, please open your ears, get some valuable advice and do something. Not try to PR Stunt this away. That is demeaning and insulting to the public of not only Turkana, but anyone who cares about humanity. Every single person dying because of this, is a foolish death. Because, you and your people could have ensured and facilitated the public and region. So, that it would be prepared for the upcoming dry-season, the shortfall of rain and the IPC 3 level. However, you where busy doing everything else. Peace.
Today is a day of warning, where the government, the local government and its authorities haven’t been prepared or cared for it. In its ignorance, the citizens of Turkana and its draught is happening, because their representatives and the state haven’t prepared for the shortfall of food nor water in the region. Even if there was waning signs months ago.
This is not just made up that Governor Josphat Nanok of Turkana County, CEO of NDMA James Odur, CS of Ministry of Devolution and ASALs Eugene Wamwalwa and so on. Can put the blame on everything else, but not on the intial inaction of their own government post. Even if that is true, because the FEWS warned about this in August/December 2018, because of lack of rain. Still, the government kept pumping like there was no tomorrow. Did nothing about it or didn’t handle it all. Since, who would make a fuzz anyway, right?
FEWS Network Warning Des. 2018:
“Performance of the October to December short rains was highly mixed across Kenya, leading to below-average crop performance and inadequate replenishment of rangeland resources in rainfall-deficit areas. In many pastoral and southeastern marginal agricultural areas, rainfall was below 85 percent of normal, while rainfall in the rest of the country was above average. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to persist in most pastoral and marginal agricultural areas through May, and an increase in the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected in localized areas of Turkana, Wajir, and Garissa by February” (FEWS Net, 31.12.2018).
Kenyan Government response:
“The National Government has provided total of Kshs. 1,351,196,000 for response during the period of February, March and April 2019 as follows: Food and safety net Kshs. 601,196,000. Support to household irrigation water storage program (excavation of small water pans) Kshs. 600,000,000. Support to water trucking, maintenance and rehabilitation of boreholes Kshs. 150,000,000. Water trucking by NDMA in Mandera, Wajir, Turkana, Garissa, Marsabit and Tana River and maintenance of water points in selected areas. Hunger Safety Net Programme cash transfers by NDMA in Turkana, Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit” (…) “Nevertheless, the below-average short rains have slightly increased the food insecure population from 655,800 in August 2018 to current number of 1,111,500, with the top 12 counties having a total of 865,300 food insecure people” (Government of Kenya – ‘BRIEF ON CURRENT DROUGHT AND FOOD SECURITY SITUATION IN ASAL COUNTIES, MARCH 2019’ 15.03.2019).
What is sad is the amount of people starving in a midst of draught, in region, where the state could have acted more swiftly and with more manpower. Because, they knew perfectly well that this was happening. This is in a region where Tullow Oil Company plans to drill oil with over 300 oil wells. Meaning, there is money and resources, which should lead to progress and development. So, that the region and county isn’t as impoverish as it is. However, there seems to be little or none of the seeds of the oil to go to needed projects or facilities to help out the locals.
Instead, the international oil companies, which reached an agreement last year in 2018. Have had the ability to drill for oil and the leaders have been pocketing money. While the state and the local county officials haven’t secure the public. That is what is the initial bargain in all of this. The public officials have been busy eating and now the public aren’t even getting bread-crumbs of the spoils. That’s what is even more sad about this situation. Knowing the region had hopes for the oil adventure and now seeing a drought, which brings even more despair.
Lochikar Basin haven’t brought anything to the local community, other than foreign investors pumping out their valuable resources, while the deal between Tullow and Government remains secret. As well, as the scarcity of water and other needed components of life, continue to run rampant in a region, which should have gotten some of the spoils of the wealth that is created there. Instead, the government cartels and public officials, who does not want to associate with the demise of the people in the drought, eat that up.
This could have been avoided, the state could have acted and the Turkana with their Oil should have had the resources to cope with it and be able to buy the needed imports of food and water. Alas, someone else is eating that, as long as the oil trucks are driving to Mombasa and the public see less or little of trade of it all.
While the sun is burning, little or no rain, while they await for a handout, when the government could have footed the bill, by the earnings of the oil alone. Peace.
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” – Harry Truman (Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950).
Certainly, the National Resistance Movement and their government doesn’t seem to care how they look. None of their pledges or even written letters to the Local Government matters. Not even in the midst of famine and starvation. You would think that a government and their agencies had sense of keeping their promises to the ones who needs the most basic in life – as their plates are empty after droughts and bad governance. Therefore, the NRM has no sense, when the Bukedea district are reacting that their promised food relief is less; than promised from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda and his department. Certainly, this is disrespecting the people and the citizens of Bukedea. Take a look!
“Mike Okwii, the district secretary for health and social services wants the matter investigated expeditiously before they can distribute what they have received. “According to the letter signed by the commissioner of disaster and preparedness, Bukedea was supposed to get 800 bags of posho and 400 bags of beans. But the district has received only 400 bags of posho and 50 bags of beans, which is shocking. So for us at the district leadership, we have decided not to distribute this food. Not until when OPM delivers all the food items”, he said. Okwii confirmed that as of now, nobody has given them any response as to why the Office of the Prime Minister delivered consignments that have fewer supplies that what was declared. “Nobody has given us the right answer why they delivered less food compared to what is on the delivery note. The minister for Teso Affairs is going to follow the matter because you can imagine the minister came to Bukedea to allocate food to the sub-counties. Little did she know that she allocated food which is not even there”, he added (URN, 2017).
The reason for the disrespect is staggering as the reports of termites and insects to survive, proves the lacking governance and upkeep of institutions. Also, the agricultural sector has been left behind, as the irrigation and thinking of how use water in farming. Certainly, the food relief is a way of making sure the people eat while they wait for next season and possible time to start farming again. These in regions that has been hard hit and the government had been warned by FAO and FEWSNET, so these reports should have forewarned them.
“Food is required besides the medication. If someone is sick, the first treatment is food; medicine works well on a well fed body,” said Dr. Chebitai” (New Vision, 2017). Therefore, with the knowledge that the state still has the capacity to not deliver what so needed and necessary is not only a theft, but taken food of the plates of those who starve. That the NRM has the audacity to this proves how they can easily neglect their citizens. Even taking away their first treatment, that is the level of disappointment, the ruling regime can to do their own. Peace.
New Vision – ‘Parliament staff donate food items to Teso’ (07.05.2017) link:http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1453187/parliament-staff-donate-food-items-teso
There are something deeply wrong, so sincerely wrong when the citizens doesn’t get needed food relief and have to eat termites and insects to survive. This is the state of the famine now in Teso Region, in Katakwi, Amuria, Bukedea and Kaberamaido district.
“Mr Robert Okitoi, the Amuria District council chairperson, said “The situation is bad, people are now eating termites. I think the government should just declare a state of emergency for the regions of Teso, Karamoja and Lango.” (NTV Uganda, 01.06.2017). On the 26th April 2017 the Parliament has passed a motion to declare ‘State of Emergency’ in Uganda, but the President and the State House has not done anything about it.
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).
This here proves that the drought is just the last piece of the straw in a bigger problem, that even the State Ministry has not been in-charge and had the oversight of the Teso Region. There are lacking the support they need. Still, the government still have done something now and then. Like this one relief to Kaberamaido district: “Kaberamaido district has finally received 12, 000 kilograms of relief food from government valued at Shillings 33 million. Kaberamaido is among the districts battling a severe food crisis resulting from crop failure due to prolonged drought. The most affected areas in the district are Ochero, Bululu, Kobulubulu, Kaberamaido, and Apapai sub counties. With over 5,000 households facing starvation representing about half of the total population in the district, the 12,000 kilograms of flour delivered is far from solving the food crisis” (Odongo, 2017). That means on the 30th April 2017, the government delivered 12.000kgs of flour that is estimated to be 231,000 citizens in the district alone. Therefore, you don’t have to be rocket scientist to know that this food relief to the one district isn’t enough…
“The minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Hilary Onek, has offered a bit of advice to the hunger-stricken; stop selling the little food you have left. Onek said the weather has become so unreliable for Ugandans to hold on to the little hope for better yields. “They should consider family needs first before selling all the food. Districts like Lira had a lot of food but it [food] was sold to traders from Kenya, South Sudan and even Rwanda because people want money,” he said in an interview. Asked whether government would consider banning the sale of food to outsiders, Onek said they wouldn’t, in the spirit of the East African Community. “That is not an option we will consider; we only want people to behave responsibly to take care of their family needs before they sell all the food,” he said” (UMDF, 2017).
So now the Minister Onek gives advice to the impoverished citizens, so that they are careful with their food stocks, as the relief of the districts are not up-to par. Therefore, that they didn’t stock the extra foods and now they tell the families to take of it. The government could have used their resources and built food-stocks, instead of living hand to mouth. The small-time farmers in the Teso-Region certainly, needs more than fear of selling what they don’t have, they need support and food relief.
The state also has to facilitate the farmers, not in Operation Wealth Creation or Jerry-Can irrigation, but real projects, storage of food-stocks and recreate farmers Co-Ops in the districts and sub-counties to collectively earn and work together to get better yields and also productivity in general. But that isn’t a scheme and way the National Resistance Movement can corrupt or thieve the funds from. Therefore, that will not happen and is the reason why the similar institutions are gone during the decades of President Museveni.
The Teso Region and these district needs help, the man-made famine together with the drought that has worsen it. So the Government has to charge and actually make a difference, not just thieve monies away from Kampala. 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/
Odongo, Ronald – ‘Kaberamaido Receives 12,000 KGs of Food Relief’ (30.04.2017) link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/govt-delivers-12000-kilograms-of-posho-worth-ugx-33m-to-famine-hit-residents
Uganda Media Development Foundation (UMDF) – ‘HILARY ONEK TO HUNGER VICTIMS: DON’T SELL FOOD’ (01.05.2017) link: https://www.umdf.or.ug/?q=content/hilary-onek-hunger-victims-don%E2%80%99t-sell-food
“A dictator who is elected 5 times. That must be a wonderful dictator. That must be a special one” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Al Jazeera Interview on the Talk to Al Jazeera, 29.04.2017).
First of President Museveni isn’t in his 5th Term, rewriting the history as they have deleted the coup d’etat in 1986 as well, as the period into the first election of 1996. Therefore, he has decade most people tries to forget, where he was “unelected” and power-grabbing. If you then count on the time and such, the right amount of terms would be that he is currently in his 7th !
Well, enough of the sadness of how many terms the 31 year long ruling and wonderful dictator has, today he had to cast his spell on the Labor Day and show his fury of his lazy citizens. Not that he is that hardworking himself, as he eats of the plate himself and empty the state reserves to buy private planes. But that is another discussion!
Therefore, here is the key parts of the speech that is important for me to discuss!
“On the issue of the shortage of food in some areas that hit us last season, my advice is to use relief very carefully for two reasons. The first reason is that relief can kuremaza (disorient) our people away from production to, instead, get in the habit of waiting for relief. Secondly, Ugandans should know that when we are eating relief food, we should know that we are chewing a road, a school or a health centre. Therefore, relief should only be for the really unavoidable situations. It should not be used by politicians for cheap popularity or frivolously (let us take the government food since it is available) or even for corruption by government officials (get the food for selling claiming that it is for relief). Finally, I would like to say that work is the only way to get people out of poverty. I, therefore, urge all Ugandans to develop a positive attitude to work. The NRM government will continue to provide an enabling environment for establishing businesses and creation of employment” (Museveni, 2017).
That he has problem that people are asking and needing food relief is beyond me. Secondly calling them disoriented because of the lacking yields, the burning fire of the sun and the result of the El Nino. But that is just me. That the State and Government could have made sure the rainwater was saved and have more structure so they wasn’t starving in the first place. But then again, Mr. President is never at fault, always casting blame on someone else. Therefore, the citizens is to blame for lacking rains and yields, and also lacking government policies and will to implement some sort agency that support the farmers.
The popularity he speaks of it the ones that want the President to act and declare an emergency, as the volatile and dire situation, as so many people in the hurt districts are eating less a meal a day! Still, he claims people are trading and selling the food without giving it away for relief. Like they sometimes do with clothes, the secondhand rule that some is given, but other is traded away for profits on the secondhand markets. If it was so, shouldn’t the president set his standard and authority to stop this men and woman from thieving the food from the ones in need? I guess he is lazy and disoriented, eating of the licensed roads and royalties of oil prospects instead of really feeding the ones in need.
This isn’t about poverty itself, it is the core mismanagement of his 7th term government, the lack of institution and the lack agricultural oversight, as the jerrycans into prosperity is a lie. That the starvation and famine is about attitude and not about lacking government oversight. If it was the latter and not the first, he was to blame; since he is the kingpin on the top and should have acted before the famine occur, but that had happen if he was legitimate leader. Nevertheless, he is self-made, self-righteous, individual who doesn’t care how ruthless and inconsiderate he is. This wasn’t words uttered for the betterment of the Republic of Uganda, it was to wash to hands of his sins and walk away from the problems. That because the famine and the food insecurity was made of lazy Ugandans and not because of drought…
Well, the wonderful dictator has hands in the state reserves and dislike that he cannot expand his ranch as much usual, pay of his daughters travels expenses or Lady Janet luxurious footwear. Who knows where all the confidential funds go, but certainly not drip-drop/bottle irrigation scheme. Certainly, this President isn’t worried about district roads, which is nearly impossible to travel through in Abletong on anywhere else for that matter. So when he says that the public is eating of roads and other infrastructure projects when they are starving during droughts and famines. Shows little mercy, this little despot with no empathy… it is gone with all the souls he has captured and stolen their future from by staying in power, I guess.
That President Museveni trying to put a spell on the people for trying to survive in hard-times, in times of tribulations and drought, as the state as struggling to give them a decent food relief. The man in charge is saying they are the reason for lacking roads and infrastructure projects because of that! Than, he also says the ones who stands firm in Parliament, asking for him to humble himself and stand down. To beg for mercy and help, to gain extra support and tell that he has mismanaged the Republic with a “State of Emergency” proves true leadership. They want their leader to take responsibility!
If he was truly elected 5 times, wouldn’t he offer more to the ones that he needed their support? Alas, it isn’t so, because he knows he rigs and put fear into the public… instead of having their real support and getting their votes. If he had so, he might have showed some flair and said he would help them because it was his duty. Not that the people are eating of the infrastructure budget.
Me translating so anyone really understand what he is understating in his speech today:“You lazy bastards are eating of government money because you are starving, you should be able to dig roots and eat rats, not eat of the state reserves. The sun didn’t burn that hard and you didn’t collect enough water with your bare hands. While I am driving 30 cars convoys and flying overseas to be a VIP. How dare you insult these foreign investors by eating my road money, aye?”. That is what you can take from the speech of this wonderful President and wonderful dictator Museveni! Peace.
Museveni, Yoweri Kaguta – ‘SPEECH ON THE OCCASION TO MARK INTERNATIONAL LABOUR DAY’ (01.05.2017) link: https://www.yowerikmuseveni.com/speech-occasion-mark-international-labour-day
I don’t know about you but this story should horrify you, as the concern of the citizens is clearly lacking, as their food insecurity is not well taken care off. The Ugandan Government clearly has maladministration or lacking resources, or only funds to Presidential Handshakes and the Presidential Jet. Because the districts of Lira, Dokolo and Alebtong isn’t getting their needs fulfilled. Just take a look!
“Government has delivered 5,400kgs of rice as relief for vulnerable communities faced with food shortage in Lango sub region” (…) “The relief supplies were delivered to Lira, Dokolo and Alebtong districts on Thursday evening. Each district will receive 1,800 kilograms of rice in the distribution. Lira district secretary for production Anthony Ojuka says the supplies will be distributed to extremely vulnerable families comprising of widows, persons living with HIV/Aids and the elderly, among others” (URN, 2017).
To put the whole food delivery and relief supplies into context!
Lira district: The Water Supply Atlas claims in Lira District that it lives about 442,128 people there (Water Uganda, 2017). The Water Supply Atlas claims in Dokolo District it lives about 196,591 people in the district (Water Uganda, 2017). The same Water Supply Atlas claims in Abletong District to be living there about 241,596 people (Water Uganda, 2017). A rough estimate would say that in these three district there are living about 879,000 people!!!
Out of the rice donated, let’s do some math:
Out of the 5,400kgs supposed to be divided on 879,000 people is equal to 0,00614kg per person. So it means measly 0,006kg rice each. That is not even a handful a piece. People are already struggling to eat and the sum of food is insane. If they would deliver anything serious, it should be tons upon tons.
Each district we’re getting 1,800kgs rice is really depressing, especially thinking of the amount of people living there. Just think about it 1,800kgs rice to be shared in Lira district on 442 thousand people, 1800kgs to the amound of 196 thousand people in Dokolo district, 1800kgs shared on 241 thousand people in Abletong district!
There is something seriously wrong with the math-squad of the NRM and their willing people to deliver this sort of relief. Therefore, the first relief to Lira district we’re more sincere: “On March 31, Lira received 25 tonnes of food supplies which was distributed to those in dire need of food” (URN, 2017). That is something fruitful and profound from the government. Still, a month ago, but proves some willingness to make the people survive. Since in Lira District there are 442,128 people and seriously 1,800kgs rice cannot be sustainable, that is measly meals for kingpins of the NRM leadership in Lira town, but not for the whole district even. The same can be said abot the Dokolo District and the Abletong distict!
This is a meager attempt of food relief, if they want to serious with the 879,000 living in this area, they better come with tons of rice and food supplies, that would last and would give more than a handful to chosen few. The NRM cannot be proud of this attempt of needed relief here. Better man-up and ask for State of Emergency, as the NRM cannot have enough funds or manpower to relieve the district in dire need food. Peace.
URN – ‘Govt delivers 5400 Kgs of relief food to Lango sub-region’ (29.04.2017) link:http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52605-govt-delivers-5400-kgs-of-relief-food-to-lango-sub-region.html
Uganda Travel Guide – ‘ Lira District’ link: http://www.ugandatravelguide.com/lira-district.html
Water Uganda – ‘Dokolo District’ (28.04.2017) link: http://www.wateruganda.com/index.php/reports/district/31
Water Uganda – ‘Abletong District’ (28.04.2017) link: http://www.wateruganda.com/index.php/reports/district/108
Water Uganda – ‘Lira District’ (28.04.2017) link: http://www.wateruganda.com/index.php/reports/district/45