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HomeNATIONALREVEALED: Latest Report Projects Hard Times Ahead For Karamoja

REVEALED: Latest Report Projects Hard Times Ahead For Karamoja

Karimojongs- COURTSEY PHOTO

In 2022 the Karamoja Resilience Support Unit II Activity undertook a Real Time Review of the Humanitarian Crisis and concluded that the harvest was patchy, and so household food stocks are inadequate; this is exacerbated by the export sale of grain.

The study indicated that from the perspective of preventing malnutrition, it is evident that communities themselves prioritize livelihood support such as livestock-related and income-generating activities, yet such humanitarian support is currently minimal.

It was also noted that the district hazard-based contingency plans recognize this but, without funding and the support of international development partners, these plans will have limited impact.

KRSU recommended that local government and international and local NGOs need to be fully conversant with humanitarian standards for economic recovery (Minimum Economic Recovery Standards (MERS)) and livestock interventions (Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS).

In January 2023 FEWSNET released a report based on key informant interviews and FEWS NET’s field assessment observations, it estimated the late 2022 harvest was 50-80 percent below normal and around 40 percent of households harvested little to no own-produced stocks.

A majority of households – estimated to be similar to higher than January of last year – have already exhausted their food stocks from the harvest and are now primarily purchasing their food. At the same time according to the report households face a steep decline in purchasing power.

Sorghum prices ranged from 40 to 130 percent above the five-year average in December, and there are few income-earning opportunities due to protracted insecurity, three consecutive years of poor harvests, and structurally low economic activity.

FEWSNET cited that many households are currently only eating one meal per day, supplemented by alcohol dregs and wild vegetables. At least 20 percent of households in Karamoja, at a minimum, are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes characterized by food consumption gaps and/or negative livelihood coping strategies, such as selling off livestock and productive assets to purchase food.

Regarding Insecurity in Karamoja, the report stated that insecurity continues to disrupt normal livelihood activities, hindering households’ access to crop fields, livestock grazing areas, and markets. Recurrent livestock raids and thefts are of particular concern.

According to WFP’s February/March 2022 food security and nutrition assessment (FSNA), 53 percent of households reported they no longer own livestock; this percentage has likely increased since then due to both frequent livestock thefts and unsustainable levels of distressed livestock sales.

Declining livestock ownership leaves households with low coping capacity during poor crop production years, eliminating a source of income to purchase food, limiting access to nutritious milk and blood, and reducing their ability to plow fields for crop cultivation and offer herding labor opportunities to other households.

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