By Spy Uganda
Nearly 50 people have died from hunger in the Karamoja region of Uganda with many residents now eating grass to survive, lawmakers said Tuesday.
“Some of our people are starving to death because they do not have food. By July 8 we had registered 46 deaths to starvation with 2,181 households waiting to die over the same due to the dire state of famine that is ravaging the Karamoja sub region,” Karamoja MP, Faith Nakut, told reporters.
Starvation in Karamoja is going largely unnoticed as higher-profile crises, including looming famine in the Horn of Africa, and the war in Ukraine, compel global attention.
Nakut is concerned that residents have started eating grass as the only alternative to survive amid a month-long drought that is ravaging the region.
She and other lawmakers from Karamoja have appealed to the world to aid residents before the death toll widens.
Nakut said officials have depleted their salaries to buy food for the most affected households as they wait for the government to respond.
Local leader Meri Jino expressed fears that elderly residents are likely to die from starvation because they cannot travel to other regions to get food.
‘Worse To Come’
With a porous border and thriving illicit trade, Karamoja has endured decades of tit-for-tat armed cattle raids between nomadic clans that wander the lawless frontier between Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya.
These incursions make life even more miserable for Karimojong communities entirely reliant on livestock and crops to survive, and government interventions to disarm rustlers have not stopped the cycles of violence.
The erratic effects of a changing climate — Karamoja is experiencing harsh drought, but last year witnessed damaging floods and landslides — have only multiplied the hardships bearing down on the region.
“Now, with the prolonged drought, and cattle rustlers, and communities left with no source of livelihood, we are heading for the worst,” said Nalibe, the Kaabong district health officer.
For some, the worst has already arrived.