The First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs Mrs. Janet Museveni has urged Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Karamoja region to actively involve themselves in the monitoring of the food aid distribution by Government so as to ensure that the vulnerable people in the communities do not miss out on the rations during the times of food shortage in the region.
This comes at a time when there is food shortage in the region, but despite Government’s effort through the Office of the Prime Minister’s department of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Management to distribute food in the affected areas, the most vulnerable people still miss out on these rations and have been left to suffer hunger related repercussions.
While meeting the NRM MPs elect from the ten (10) Constituencies in Karamoja at Kyankwanzi State Lodge, on the sidelines of the NRM Party Retreat for their elected MPs at the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi on Friday, Mrs. Janet Museveni said Government has been monitoring the hunger situation in Karamoja and has made dispatches of food aid to the most affected areas.
She said it is very perturbing however, that most often this food has been given to those who are not the most vulnerable, some of it is sold off, while some Local Governments do not distribute this food to the communities and instead leave it in the stores.
Mrs. Museveni reiterated her earlier call to the leaders from Karamoja to identify and register all the most vulnerable families in the sub region saying this will help the Government to avoid haphazard food aid distribution during the lean seasons.
She also recommended the need to devise a sustainable strategy of taking care of all elderly people who are always vulnerable during times of food shortage.
On a happy note, the First Lady said she was proud of Karamoja for overwhelmingly voting President Museveni and the NRM Party in the recently concluded elections. President Museveni got 97% in Karamoja region and 17 NRM MPs were elected in the region plus only 2 independents who are also NRM- leaning.
The Karamoja MPs elect said the prolonged drought in the region had affected all the Districts and people across the board. They thanked Government for the food relief it has so far sent to their people but requested for more so as to cover all the areas in need.
They recommended that for sustainability, when Government is distributing the food aid, drought resistant and quick maturing seeds should be given out simultaneously to the communities so that they can plant as soon as the first rains come.
The Karimojong appreciated President Museveni for his love for them and for making his wife their Minister. They requested him to let Mrs. Janet Museveni continue to be the Karamoja Affairs Minister when he names his new cabinet.
The State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru who also attended the meeting assured the First Lady and the Karamoja MPs that his department would start delivering the food aid in the villages and not at the Sub counties where the leaders have been misusing their authority. He said this he will ensure by dispatching a fueled small track alongside the trailer to ferry the food to the actual identified villages.