Govt to deliver food to hunger-stricken communities this week

Report
from New Vision
Published on 14 May 2019 View Original

State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru informed Parliament on Thursday that the deliveries will start this week.

By Mary Karugaba

KAMPALA - Cabinet has approved sh40b to procure emergency relief food to be delivered to communities at risk.

State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru informed Parliament on Thursday that the deliveries will start this week.

Ecweru was briefing parliament on the impact of disaster damage to communities and public infrastructure and service delivery over the past six months in the country.

Ecweru noted that the recent erratic rainfall characterized with storm-winds and hailstones have left the sub-regions of Karamoja, Teso, Bukedi, Busoga, Acholi, West Nile and a large section of the Cattle Corridor; in food shortage situation across the country.

The situation, Ecweru said has left over 3,500,000 people in urgent need of relief food.

“We are aware the current rains have come after a long dry spell, crops planted during the traditional planting season of March-April did not germinate. The first rains which appeared in early March were deceptive and when people attempted to plant they did not germinate and people lost their seeds,” he said.

However, he said, having weighed the gravity of the matter and after presenting the food/hunger situation report to Cabinet on the May 06, 2019 Cabinet directed the release of sh40bn for procurement of emergency relief food to be delivered to communities at risk.

He said the delayed onset of first season rains, storm-winds, and hailstones caused food shortage and led to a high prevalence of crop diseases and pests such as African cassava mosaic, cassava brown streak, and fall-army warms that affected output in Karamoja, Teso, Bukedi, Lango and parts of Busoga

“Pesticides and insecticides are too expensive for many peasant farmers. Some agricultural inputs (seeds/planting materials, pesticides, and fertilizers) are of poor quality. All these have led to food insecurity,’” he said.

He also noted that the storms that have been witnessed in about 90 districts across the country destroyed 356 primary secondary and tertiary institutions.

“Cabinet also approved shs26.0b for emergency repairs and reconstruction of damaged schools. The Ministry of Education working with the District Local Governments will soon reach the damaged schools and have them repaired.

“ It’s unfortunate that in these schools, students are now studying under trees. When it rains, they are sent home. But we are also planning to send them tents in the meantime,” he said.