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: Nakut Faith, Woman MP Napak – Food Crisis in Karamoja: A Focus on What Needs to be Done (10.07.2022)

Karamoja: The sub-region is starving on empty promises…

Museveni promised that food insecurity in Karamoja would be dealt with by increasing fast maturing seedlings and an increase in relief by the Office of the Prime Minister. In a bid to build a self-sustaining household plan, the MPs proposed that the government avails agricultural inputs such as two tractors per constituency to facilitate agriculture on a large scale. The President however, disagreed with them saying that two tractors per constituency cannot support commercial agriculture. Museveni proposed that 5 tractors per constituency would be more plausible. He further challenged MPs to engage in large scale farming if they are to empower their communities and drive the country into middle income status. He promised to bring in experts to share in their best practices so that the members would get first hand information from them” (President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday evening held a special meeting with MPs-elect from Northern and Karamoja region to discuss pertinent issues affecting social and economic transformation, 20.04.2021).

The Government has a Minister designated for Karamoja affairs and has around 17 MPs from the Karamoja Sub-Region. However, all of these representatives and people being in high office isn’t delivering anything.

The news of starvation and famine shouldn’t shock anyone. The warnings from FEWSNET and other monitoring bodies like FAO has stated this too. The President has called the Karamoja green and pleasant. Nevertheless, that is far from the truth.

We know that the army, the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) have been operating and causing friction. As it is extra judicial killing and kicking people out of their homes. They are deliberately evicting and making people into internally displaced people. So, that the places of which they are burning villages and killing civilians. Is scaring the farmers and the people tending the land from cultivating food. This is done under the banner of “Usalalama Kwa Wote” to stop cattle-rustlers but also ensure the territories of mineral riches gets to the right “investor”. Therefore, this insecurity with the forewarned lack of food security was doomed to cause havoc on the sub-region.

Karamoja has been bleeding and suffering as a consequence of the military actions. The Sub-Region hasn’t been invested in. There has been creations of districts and electoral gerrymandering. However, there is only one referral hospital in Moroto. There is no real changes and the UN organizations comes in with aide and salvation every time things are dire. The President and his government isn’t clearly invested or concerned about the starvation or hunger in Karamoja. If the state did… they have seen this issue returning again and again. People are dying and the local government bodies should do better. The Office of the Prime Minister and the State Minister for Karamoja Affairs lack funds or mental minds to put programs that can save lives. Since this is a reoccurring event. That’s what is tragic here…

What is tragic is that the hunger and starvation was warned by FEWSNET in April this year. Which stated this: “For many poor Karamoja households, below-average purchasing power will continue constraining access to food from market purchases. Around August/September, the start of harvesting in Karamoja is expected to support improved access to food from own consumption and income from crop sales and reduce the number of households facing consumption gaps, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist at the area level even during the post-harvest period. Overall, widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are now expected to persist through at least September, with worst-affected households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes” (FEWS NET, 06.04.2022).

We can sadly assess that the warnings of a IPC Phase 4 is now happening. The President promised already last year to secure food security for Karamoja sub-region. However, we easily that never happened. Now the World Food Programme and others has to cover the basics. They have to come with the food and the aide, because the state is a shortfall. Neither does it have the organization or institutions in order to help. The state has the army and the ability to kill civilians. However, it doesn’t have the ability to save lives or ensure food security. That is clear for anyone and is a sign of what is a priority in Kampala. As the Karamjoa sub-region isn’t only bleeding now, but starving as well. Peace.

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