The Government has acknowledged that the food security situation in the country has reached famine levels. This acknowledgement was made by Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, the minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday July 7 2009.
In a statement issued on the same day, the minister said food security situation in Karamoja reached famine levels in December 2008. ‘The situation, however, is under control with the World Food Programme (WFP) supporting 1,130,000 people with 12kgs of food commodities per head per month,’ said the statement in part.
Prof. Kabwegyere said: ‘As a mitigating measure, the Disaster Preparedness and Management Department in the Office of the Prime Minister has procured 2,620 tons of maize grain and 1,000 tons of beans to maintain a steady flow of relief food supplies to Karamoja when current WFP stocks are expected to run out. Karamoja region also expect some harvests during the month of October by which time dependence on relief food will reduce’.
Other areas affected by famine are Teso Sub Region (Amuria and Katakwi districts), Acholi Sub Region (Amuru, Gulu, Pader and kitgum districts), West Nile Sub Region (Adjumani, Arua, Moyo and Nebbi districts).
Other regions affected by famine are Western Sub Region (Isingiro and Kibaale districts) and Elgon Sub Region (Kapchorwa and Bukwo districts). In Central Region, the affected districts are Mukono and Mubende.
The minister’s response follows press reports that MPs from Acholi and Teso sub regions threatened to boycott parliamentary proceedings in protest of what they called government’s lack of response to the spectre of famine.
The minister said the MPs, most of whom are in opposition, should stop politicising the issue of famine and called on them to be part of the solution.