Uganda: OCHA Special Report No. 4 - Focus on Karamoja, Jan to Jun 2009
During the first half of 2009 the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda continued to experience a variety of challenges, including persistent insecurity, unreliable rains, tsetse fly infestation in savannah areas, and chronic under-capacity in staffing levels at the district level.
Insecurity in the region has remained static compared to the first six months of 2008, with little change in the number of incidents (cattle raids, clashes, killings, etc) occurring monthly. In addition, two road ambushes have been recorded from January-June 2009 against three over the same period last year.
Worsening food insecurity prompted an upward revision of the region's food aid caseload and rations, while an integrated food security phase classification of the region was completed in May, confirming the emergency nature of the situation, specifically in parts of Kaabong and Moroto.
Nevertheless, some improvements were registered, particularly in land use and cultivation by communities supported with agricultural inputs as well as increased access to safe water coverage from 30 per cent to 40 per cent regionally (UNICEF, 2009). Progress was also made in the health sector, where efforts to take basic medical services closer to itinerant communities have been boosted by the establishment of Village Health Teams throughout the region and continuing support via outreach programs to returned and nomadic communities.
Karamoja has also been successful in attracting greater attention; increasing numbers of organizations are setting up humanitarian and development operations in the region, while the new high-profile state minister for Karamoja, First Lady Janet Museveni, has already conducted three visits to the area.
In May 2009, the Government of Uganda announced the creation of fourteen new districts effective 1 July 2009, one of which is Amudat District located on the eastern side of Nakapiripirit District, along the Kenya border. Amudat is comprised of the Pokot people in Loroo, Amudat and Karita sub-counties.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.