Karamoja’s eight districts are set to benefit from a multi-billion nutrition programme aimed at improving a worrying nutrition situation in the region.
The three-year programme worth £28 million [about Shs 140bn] is funded by DFID and implemented by Unicef and World Food Programme (WFP). It will run from 2019 to 2021 and will cover the districts of Abim, Amudat, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Napak, Nakapiripirit and Nabilatuk.
Francesca Stidston, the DFID head of office, launched the initiative last week in Kotido along with WFP country director El-Khidir Daloum and John Byabagambi, the minister for Karamoja Affairs.
Stidston says 87 per cent of the children in Karamoja are not fed with the right diet while more than 45 per cent of households in the sub-region have limited access to food.
Such worrying figures, she says, necessitated their intervention to save more lives, prevent the vulnerability of women and children and improve the development and productivity of children, among others.
However, the local leadership warns that the nutrition program may fail if stakeholders fail to inter-link it to the Karimojong tradition of cattle-keeping.
“In a situation where we are talking about nutrition, we must also think of stabilizing the cattle of this region because Karimojong and cattle are one,” says Peter Lokii Abraham, the Kotido municipality MP.
He calls for the restocking of cattle in Karamoja because many families were affected by the previous drought, animal disease and insecurity in the region. The program is expected to support at least 100,000 children aged under five years with a community-based supplementary feeding program.