By Samuel Okiror
KAMPALA, 22 July 2015 – A five-year initiative to tackle endemic poverty in Uganda’s northern region of Karamoja is expected to boost resilience to natural hazards, especially the recurrent droughts which can decimate livelihoods.
The Drylands Integrated Development Project was launched in June to address a swath of challenges which fuel the population’s vulnerability to hazards.
By Lydia Wamala
In Uganda’s poorest region, Karamoja, WFP is using funding from the United Kingdom to help communities access something they consider more precious than gold – water. One of the ways is by establishing sand dams, a mechanism by which sand is allowed to accumulate and store water for use during the dry season. WFP works with partners including local leaders and NGOs.
NAYESE VILLAGE, KARAMOJA - As Regina Nakwang, Veronica Locham, Lina Sagal and Cecilia Kapel look down at the completed sand dam, their pride is clear to see.
Four years after South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011, conflict has forced tens of thousands across the border into Uganda, where they are given assistance and encouraged to abandon any ethnic animosity
When fighting broke out in December 2013 in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, it spread rapidly toward the country’s north-east – directly towards John Aleu’s home. He wanted no part of the conflict and hoped the remoteness of his village in northern Jonglei state would insulate him.
The Resilience Analysis Unit, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Food Programme, carried out the present context analysis with the aim of better understanding resilience to food insecurity and malnutrition in Karamoja, Uganda.
Average nominal retail prices for maize grain, sorghum and beans continued to increase in May by 10%, 12% and 25% respectively across Karamoja as the sub-region gets to the peak of the lean season.
The terms of trade (TOT) for both goats and casual labour against maize grain have continued to deteriorate compared to April, 2015 in Karamoja as a result of increased maize prices. However, households this year are still better off compared to the same period in May 2014.
Highlights of Consumer Price Index for June 2015
1.0 ANNUAL INFLATION
The number of Burundian refugees arriving in Uganda since November 2014 was approximately 9,000 as at 24 June 2015, with the arrival rate at 100/day in the Nakivale settlement in southwest Uganda. About 80 percent of the new arrivals came in from March 2015 onward.
The majority of the new arrivals say they are coming to Uganda due to security concerns in countries that surround Burundi, family linkages in Uganda and knowledge of more liberal refugee policies of the government in Uganda.
Delayed green harvest; Karamoja lean season likely to extend until September
The number of Burundian refugees arriving in Uganda since November 2014 was approximately 8,800 as at 22 June 2015. The new arrivals came in in at a rate of approximately 92 persons/day in the week leading to 22 June 2015.
The Burundians are arriving alongside other refugees fleeing instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Nakivale settlement, where most of the Burundian refugees are arriving, is also receiving Congolese nationals at a rate of 30-50 persons/day.
More than 950 students have access to better nutrition thanks to a recent donation of fortified rice-meals to two Salesian programs in Uganda. The donation was made possible through an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Stop Hunger Now, an international relief organization that provides food and life‐saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
The average arrival of Burundian refugees into Uganda is approximately 169 individuals. Refugee children are being hosted at Nakivale Refugee settlement Camp and in case the numbers increase they will be hosted in Oruchinga Camp.
UNICEF has provided the Children with therapeutic nutrition services to address malnutrition in addition to health supplies (Polio and measles doses, cold chain equipment) to expand services.
The number Burundian refugees arriving in Uganda since November 2014 is 8,365 with the refugees coming in with approximately 633 arriving over the last week. The average daily arrival rate reduced to about 90.
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, are reviewing the interagency contingency planning figure of 15,000 new arrivals up till the end of 2015 given that over 8,300 refugees have already arrived.
The number of Burundian refugees arriving in Uganda since November 2014 is now over 7,700 with the refugees coming in at a rate of approximately 144 persons a day since 01 June.
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, are reviewing the inter-agency contingency planning figure of 15,000 refugees till the end of 2015 (including the 12,000 refugees that lived in the southwest settlements prior to the new inflow) given that over 7,700 refugees have already arrived since November 2014.
Cooking banana (matoke), dry cassava chips, sorghum, millet, beans, and white maize are important food commodities for Ugandans. The staple food varies by region. Matoke is most important in the central, western, and southwestern regions; millet in the east; and sorghum in the east, north and northeast. Cassava chips, beans, and white maize are also very important for a significant part of population; cassava chips are especially important in eastern (Soroti), northern, and northwestern (Arua)
Uganda continues to receive an influx of Burundian refugees with approximately 1,100 people arriving between 27 May 2015 and 2 June 2015, bringing the total number of new arrivals to 7,144 people.
Between 28-29 May, WFP participated in a multisectoral inter-agency assessment mission for the Burundian influx led by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM Uganda).
Below average rainfall likely to delay and reduce harvests in Karamoja
Below average rainfall in bimodal areas since March is likely to result in delayed below-average harvests in June/July. National production is likely to be near average except for local areas in the central and east where cumulative moisture deficits have been experienced. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through September is expected.
Highlights of Consumer Price Index for May 2015
1.0 ANNUAL INFLATION
· UNICEF and partners support over 148,350 South Sudanese refugees of which 88 per cent are women and children.
· The UNICEF/UNHCR/WFP report on the food security and nutrition situation showed a global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate of 20.3 per cent and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rate of 4.6 per cent among the South Sudan refugees.
· A total of 18,309 children (10,682 boys and 7,627 boys) children have been registered at 34 Child friendly spaces.
There has been a spike in the inflow of Burundian refugees with approximately 800 people arriving between 21 and 26 May 2015 and the expectation that most of them will be granted refugee status.
Over 5,000 refugees have been registered so far since 01 November 2014.
WFP is assisting the refugees, who are arriving through the Uganda-Tanzania border, primarily with cooked meals and monthly food rations.