- The report, which sampled 1,925 respondents across the country, also shows that at least 49 per cent of citizens went without a meal for the whole day for the past three months
- The figures show the adverse magnitude of food insecurity in the country, attributing this to lack of money to buy food or the inadequacy of feeding materials in the households
- In 2009, Nebbi experienced a severe food scarcity in Nebbi and almost every household did not feed on three meals a day
By Ronald Orachwun Cox
Nebbi- Residents in Nebbi Municipality have received the Uwezo/Twaweza report on food insecurity in Uganda with mixed reactions.
The October 2017 Sauti za wanainchi baseline survey shows that more than half of Ugandans have gone without food for three months.
It says 85 per cent of citizens were worried of food running out in the family, 77 per cent ate less food than the required amount. At least 75 per cent of citizens skipped a meal for the past three months, 69 per cent of Ugandans ran out of feeding materials in their households, while 67 per cent went hungry but did not have what to eat.
Mr Jeremy Openjtho, a resident of Akesi cell Abindu division Nebbi municipality blames local leaders for failing in their mandate to guide people in providing the available ways for them to secure their foods.
“It is true that some people do not have what to eat. At least for me I have though not enough. But I think our leaders should come out and tell our people the techniques how to their store their reserve foods and probably use them in times of scarcity.”
Ms Agnes Ayerango, a resident of Oryang cell Thatha division Nebbi municipality says the biggest problem facing farmers today is the fluctuating weather pattern, punctuated by long dry spells and hailstorms.
“Sometimes I believe that we are just wasting our time to cultivate our land. How can rain disappear at a time when it is supposed to be raining? We don’t have the capacity to irrigate our crops and what do we eat in case everything is burnt from the field?”
Ms Ayerango adds that besides the long dry spells, they are also faced with heavy rains which end up destroying budding crops in their gardens, something that puts their lives at risk.
Women working in a rice garden in Arua. Photo by Felix
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), a semi-autonomous government body under ministry of Water and Environment charged with issues of weather/climate released the September to December 2018 weather bulletin for Northern Uganda showing that the region has been experiencing isolated outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms which are expected to continue up to mid-September when the onset of the seasonal rainfall is expected.
Last week, farmers in three villages in Jupangira parish Nebbi Sub County including Boma East, Jupuyik and Jupuriek counted losses after a heavy down pour after hailstorms destroyed crops including maize, beans, bananas, pumpkins and tomatoes worth over Shs 7 million.
However, the Nebbi municipality LC5 councilor Mr Geoffrey Thorwinyo-wa blames the issue of food insecurity on people’s mindset.
“We have people who eat as if the world is coming to an end this night. Such tendencies leave someone without food in the next few weeks or months. Much as most of our local farmers practice subsistence farming, someone can be in position to save some excess food in case of anything,” Mr Thorwiyo-wa said.