By Spy Uganda
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has asked the Karachuna (reformed Karimojong warriors) to stop the tendency of cattle rustling among the Karimojong clans and in the neighboring areas in order to help the government plan better for the sub-region.
“When it comes to you people of Karamoja, we need to stop insecurity so that we now start planning, we can’t create wealth when there’s chaos. Stop the cattle raiding, now that will leave me to deal with the Turkana. They will have to stop raiding or I will completely throw them out of Uganda,” President Museveni cautioned.
“Once we have stopped the chaos, then we shall have to deal with the issue of water for our animals. The money we are now spending on fuel, security operations can be used to generate more water through setting up communal and individual dams and thirdly, stop burning grass,” he added.
President Museveni reminded them how he managed to convince the Banyankore in the cattle Corridor to switch from nomadism to commercial dairy farming that has since uplifted their welfare.
“In the 1960s, the Banyankore were still nomadic. Nomadic for what reason? In the dry season the water would dry up, the grass would also dry up. Thirdly, they have a belief that if you stay in one place for a long time, the cows start getting some sicknesses,” he stated.
“Our message to them during our meeting was; stay in one place, concentrate on storing enough water in big containers, stop destroying the food of the cows by burning the grass and kill the ticks from there. So, at the end of the meeting, they realised that may be this boy was talking some sense. That is how the Banyankore stopped nomadism because they realised that they were wasting their wealth and life,” he added.
The President added that when they came into power in 1986, the Banyankore had stopped nomadism, but they had not started getting enough money through farming.
“The issue now was how to create wealth through calculation – “ekibaalo”. With ekibaalo, I suggested to them to go for milk because with milk you can earn daily and that is how they listened to me and started going for these Friesian cows.”
The President further tasked the Karachuna to take up commercial farming especially for milk. He said this will help them to generate daily income, thus improving their livelihoods.
“The cattle Corridor embraced dairy farming which has transformed the area, so it is not hard for Karamoja to transform as well,” he said.
H.E Museveni also rallied them to embrace government programs like Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga to fight poverty.
Before the meeting, the President first took the Karachuna on a tour of the various model farms with an aim of helping them learn new and modern methods of farming that they could use in their agricultural ventures.