Imagine waking up to no food, when you have nothing to feed your little children as they look at you with hungry faces and sad eyes. Imagine going all over to look for something to feed your wife who is a new mother but come back with nothing and imagine watching helplessly as your ageing parents die due to starvation because there is nothing that can be done?
This is what is happening to our relatives and friends in Karamoja, atleast 53 people are reported to have died in just three sub-counties of Napak District due to severe hunger and other hunger related diseases following a dry spell and famine; several, close to hundreds at this moment are staring death in the face as they fight for survival trying to scrap up all they can to live for tomorrow. The Most affected sub-counties include: Lopeei, Ngoleriet and Lokopo.
The Government has for long had interventions under the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs with the NUSAF II catering mainly for the old and vulnerable people like the disabled and sick that are provided with food because they can’t work. However, most of the old people are over powered by the strong youthful individuals who in the long run steal their food, sometimes what is provided to them is usally substantially low.
The State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Hon. Musa Ecweru had initially downplayed the scale of the calamity by saying only 6-7 had died however through an investigation by an NTV Uganda reporter, it was revealed that they are over 50 people who have died due hunger related issues.
Some of the Youths who still have strength trek for as long as 80 kilometers to the nearby Amuria district, go there for work where and are in-turn paid with cassava crusts.
This is no way for a human to live especially in a country where food is abundant but the Karamojong are a special tribe in Uganda that are still attached to their traditions and culture that has had them not easily embrace modern development. But does not mean the Government keeps trying to bring them development through a lot of projects, yet one finds a lot of these projects in the area that only take but do not bring any development to area that is still arid has no sign of developing anytime soon.
On Thursday the 16th, I met with a couple of concerned and wonderful people who are trying to help with the little they have, these included: Malcolm Musiime and Suhail Mugabi of NTV, Winnie Banange of MTN among many others, we were 11 people at BBQ Lounge to discuss how and when we should do something to help, MTN generously and instantly offered the cause 3M/- while NTV (that broke the story) gave #FeedNapak media coverage for the journey to Napak that will be this Friday.
I did not even know much about what was happening in Napak till I saw the #FeedNapak on my Twitter timeline (News feed) I asked a friend who told me about what is happening, it broke my heart that we are letting our very own die due to something that can be avoided. I watched the report compiled by Suhail Mugabi and was moved to tears. We cannot just tweet about this situation and expect it to go away or wait for the Government yet we can also do something to help.
If you have; a sack of maize, posho, rice even clothes and shoes kindly take it to NTV offices at Serena Hotel, Kampala. To you it might not be much but when they receive it, it will be enough.
We are meeting this evening at BBQ Lounge if you have the time from 6pm you can come join us and give us your ideas on what else we can do do not stop at tweeting but get involved in the real about the issues that affect the people around us.
Or if you cannot make it below are the Mobile Money numbers you can use and send whatever you can afford to, use the reason #FeedNapak.
Let us keep praying for the people in Napak.
To Government, I think it would be wonderful to put up schemes in the area that can educate and help the people generate income to buy/ grow food or more better and modernized farming projects.
Like the wonderful people from 40Days- 40 Smiles say, “Be the change you want to see in the World.”
Mobile Money No. +256 772 121968 (Reason #FeedNapak)