Voice of Lango

Eight Karamojong migrate to Otuke district as hunger bites

7 February 2023, 2:23 pm

Parts of Otuke district as seen on google maps

By Denis Okello(denis.okello@vol.co.ug)

For long, the people of Lango and Karamoja regions have had a bumpy relationship over cattle raids conducted by suspected Karamojong cattle rustlers. However, during famine and dry season as such, the Karamojong usually turn to their bitter-sweet neighbor for water and pasture for their animals as well as food.

At least eight people from Karamoja have arrived in Otuke district in search for food following biting hunger in Karamoja sub region.

They arrived in Ogor Sub County yesterday but today, they proceeded to Otuke town council where they have set camp at Otuke Catholic Church.

Otuke Resident District Commissioner, Gillian Akullo confirmed the arrival of the Karamojong who consist of four women and four children. She said that they were forced to migrate into Otuke district due to hunger being experienced in their region.

Otuke RDC, Gillian Akullo on arrival of the Karamojong

Akullo adds that they have heightened security vigilance in Otuke to ascertain the motive of people who are illegally entering the district.

She called for calm among the people of Otuke whom she said are worried that the Karamojong entering the district could have been sent by cattle rustlers to spy on them and provide information about their cattle to ease cattle raids.

The RDC further cautioned some people against bringing into the district the Karamojong to offer casual labor on their gardens, as some of them could be spies.

RDC, Gillian Akullo assuring locals of their security

Last year, Karamoja region was cited among areas that experienced the worst hunger crisis in Uganda which resulted in deaths estimated in hundreds.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the last Acute Food Insecurity IPC revealed that approximately 518,000 people were in urgent need of food assistance in Karamoja, with almost 428,000 individuals facing crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC3) and almost 90,000 in emergency levels (IPC4) in the period between March and July 2022. Also, 91,600 children and 9,500 pregnant women were projected to be acutely malnourished for the period of February 2022-January 2023.