Government has delivered 5,400kgs of rice as relief for vulnerable communities faced with food shortage in Lango sub region.
The relief supplies were delivered to Lira, Dokolo and Alebtong districts on Thursday evening. Each district will receive 1,800 kilograms of rice in the distribution. Lira district secretary for production Anthony Ojuka says the supplies will be distributed to extremely vulnerable families comprising of widows, persons living with HIV/Aids and the elderly, among others.
Ojuka however observed that the donation could be too little to meet the growing demand for food relief across the district. He said almost 80 percent of the 48,000 households in Lira are faced with food insecurity and that most of them cannot afford more than one meal a day.
This is the second delivery of relief supplies to Lira district in a period of one month. On March 31, Lira received 25 tonnes of food supplies which was distributed to those in dire need of food.
Moroto county Member of Parliament Sam Okwir Odwe, said they have agreed that their allocations should be distributed strictly to child headed families, those living with HIV and the elderly widows.
In Dokolo, Mansur Suwed, the district information officer said the district has instituted strict measures to ensure the relief is not diverted but delivered to the intended beneficiaries.
The relief comes just days after Members of Parliament from Lango sub region protested delayed delivery of relief food to the sub region. They questioned the criterion government was using to select areas that benefit from relief food in various parts of the country.
Parliament resolved that government declares a state of emergency in the country following the crisis brought about by the food shortage. Cabinet is yet to pronounce itself on the resolution.
Disaster Preparedness Minister Eng Hillary Onek says that hunger has spread to over 5.5 million people up from 3.5 million in January in various parts of the country.
The worst affected areas are the districts of Katakwi, Amuria, Soroti and Kaberamaido, in Teso where residents have resorted to eating white ants and wild plants. Also affected are parts of Karamoja and Lango sub regions.
A recent report of the National Food Security Assessment, launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, shows that 26 percent of Uganda's population food stressed and that most families are unable to afford some essential food expenditures. It also shows that 10.9 million people in the country are experiencing acute food insecurity, of which 1.6 million are in a crisis situation.
The report says food security across the country is deteriorating. This has been blamed on the dry long spell that Uganda experienced before rained resumed recently. In February government earmarked Shs 25 billion to purchase relief food for the food-stressed population.