From Arua to Kumi, Ugandans lament drought losses

Whether they reside in Kumi, Ngora, Kitgum or Yumbe districts, Ugandans have for the past 2 and a half months endured extremely harsh dry weather and it has caused a myriad of problems in these areas. Even as news of the start of the rains begins to trickle in, citizens across the countryside continue to lament the produce losses, ill health and other misfortunes they have faced as a result of the drought.

“Here in Nyero, our cattle is dying because there’s hardly any water and pasture for them” Oluka in Kumi district reports. Locals in other areas of the Teso region have also reported the same problem in addition to famine which has made food expensive.

“People are cutting down trees here in Kumi because farming has become impossible and so have decided to carry out activities like bricklaying, felling trees for firewood and burning charcoal as a means of survival” Paul Okello reports. He is asking the government to enforcing mandatory tree planting as mitigation for this development that is wont to contribute to climate change.

Further North in Yumbe district the effects of climate change are already being materially felt in everyday life. “It used to rain at the end of February and early March but it has not happened this year and local farmers are very worried since most of them depend on farming.” says a local.

Other reports that came into News-Hapa say that wells have dried up for example in Ngora and Bukedea districts. Where wells still hold water, they are being polluted by dust as Olupot Charles Dickens, from Koloin village in Ngora reports.

Compound all these shortages with rural Uganda’s perennial population pressures and you have Nabboth Mukudia crying that “the population is on the rise yet there’s hardly any food in Kumi.” he calls on government to alternative ways to feeding the population there.

Meanwhile, the starting rains that were supposed to be a relief came with problems of their own. Okiror reports that lightning struck a few people in Mukongoro sub county, Kumi district this past week.

- March 12, 2014
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