See also:
» 29.09.2009 - WFP appeals for urgent $66 million in Uganda
» 16.07.2009 - Food donations spark a row in famine hit areas
» 13.07.2009 - Uganda appeals for $79 million to fight famine
» 13.06.2008 - East African budgets to ease food crisis
» 10.10.2007 - UN warns food disaster in Uganda
» 07.09.2007 - Uganda's food insecurity still fragile
» 11.08.2004 - Accelerated aid for displaced Ugandans
» 13.05.2004 - Crisis in northern Uganda escalating

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Agriculture - Nutrition

Ugandans at risk of starvation

afrol News, 8 August - Over 3.5 million Ugandans are at risk of starvation in the sub-regions of Teso, Karamoja, parts of Lango, Acholi and West Nile due to crop failure.

The region which is plagued by severe food shortages and nutrition related human illnesses, failed to produce enough food to feed its people due to delayed rains resulting to poor growing season.

Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Tarsis Kabwegyere told parliament that government was concerned with northern Uganda food crisis, citing Karamoja as an area that needs urgent attention.

"Delayed rains in the region which resulted in a poor growing season this year, led to 90 per cent loss of yield, has compounded misery of starving nationals, a majority of whom are having one poor meal a day," he said.

Mr Kabwegyere said for some areas which received enough rains for planting season, were hit by severe drought in April, two months prior to harvest, saying planting materials distributed to promote food security had gone to waste.

"The region might remain food deficient until the next harvest, expected in July/August 2009," he emphasised.

Minister said FAO report has revealed 18 percent of malnutrition in April, with admission in hospital for therapeutic feeding centre on one of the major hospitals in the country rising to 78 cases in June, up from 32 cases in May.

Mr Kabwegyere said UN's food agency, World Food Programme, which complements government's efforts in providing food relief, is also reported to be experiencing food shortages.

He said 43,067 metric tonnes of food were needed to feed affected population from August to December, requiring US $39million.

Some members of parliament said some parts of the country would run out of food by December, as most of its produce is sold to neighbouring Kenya, while others blame government for poor capacity to detect adverse weather conditions which the country could prepare for such disasters. "Inter-ministerial committee meeting in July pointed out the need to put in place measures to tackle global warming and climate change," Mr Kabwegyere had said.

Uganda which was renowned in 1970s and 1980s for notorious human rights abuses, during military dictatorship of Idi Amin from 1971-79 and then after the return to power of Milton Obote, who had been ousted by Amin, has been grappling with food shortages that has hit east African region compounded by soaring oil and food prices.

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