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Learn To Appreciate the Little, Others Don’t Have Any-Nabbanja Pleads with Karamoja Leaders

Prime Minister Nabbanja being welcomed by Karamoja leaders recently at Hotel African in Moroto

By Timothy Eodu

The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda, Robinah Nabbanja has called out on the leaders from Karamoja Sub Region to at least appreciate the government efforts being put in the region.

The Prime Minister made the call while meeting with the region’s leaders including Members of Parliament, LC5s, LC3s, district accounting officers and security leaders from Hotel Africana in Moroto district.

Nabbanja made the call after several complaints were raised by the both the area MPs and local leaders that the government especially through the Ministry for Karamoja affairs had failed to respond to the region’s emerging issues even after being told.

While giving his speech and representing the region’s Local Council five, LCV chairpersons, David Koriang the LC5 Moroto districted insisted that on a daily basis, each district in the region registers some kind of hunger related death.

Koriang said as much as government has done some interventions, as the area leaders they think some more should be done to several the several thousands that may be at the risk of losing lives to the dire situation.

Ngoya John Bosco the Bokora Member of Parliament said they gave government early warning signals about both the insecurity and hunger situation but that was downplayed.

He said the government only remembers of the people from Karamoja when it is electioneering period but after that, they turn their backs and leave the Karimojongs to battle with their own problems as revealed by the hunger situation.

According to Ambrose Onoria the Resident District Commissioner-RDC Kotido district, over 1000 people have so far died in Kotido alone and an estimated 3000 are feared to have been lost all over the region, a figure he says is too worrying.

He however called upon the area leaders and government to prioritise sensitising the local communities to better ways of food storage to avoid the repeat hunger situation just like they have started in Kotido district which was the most hit.

In her response to the several complaints, Nabbanja asked the area leaders to explain where the efforts by the various development partners and government is being invested in as results on the ground do not translate to the huge investment that the region is enjoying.

“But sincerely, very many organisations have done a lot to Karamoja but we don’t see the impact on the ground. Are these interventions really done or they remain on paper?” the Prime Minister asked.

She told area leaders that several government projects target Karamoja like the Gala goats that were recently distributed to the reformed warriors yet other regions have never benefitted.

Nabbanja added that even the 135 billion that was recently allocated for handling the Karamoja emergency is something never done elsewhere in the country and yet they face similar challenges of draught.

The Prime Minister also said the out of the 20bn (part of 135bn) that was recently released by the finance Ministry, Karamoja took the lion’s share (16.9bn) and the balance (3bn) was left to handle emergencies across the country.

The struggle against poverty in Karamoja has recently emerged as a matter of great concern at all levels in Uganda. The Government has been at the forefront, alongside development partners, positively contributing towards curbing the disadvantaged situation of the semi-arid region.

The launch of the Karamoja Integrated Disarmament and Development Programme-(KIDDP) way back was a first step towards coordinating the implementation of development programmes in Karamoja.

Its aim was to help directly dissolve the socio-economic isolation of Karamoja as well address the issue of insecurity. As a result of the KIDDP, and its successor the Karamoja Integrated Development Plan (KIDP 1), the Karamoja sub-region has begun to emerge from many years of social, economic and political neglect.

The implementation of KIDP 2 will take this development further, ensuring more effective integration of sectors and addressing key crosscutting issues.

For decades Karamoja has depended on donor support for humanitarian aid: The new development approach for Karamoja focuses on eventually reducing aid-dependency and developing productive livelihoods as the only sustainable way for the region to transform.

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