Citizens look up to their government for the provision of basic amenities among which is food security. How will Ugandans feel when their government has informed them to start rationing the food they currently have because an impending famine is inevitable.
The government of Uganda led by President Yoweri Museveni has warned citizens of what it says is an impending famine in most parts of the country, cautioning Ugandan traders to limit food exports and families across the East African nation to start rationing the food they currently have.
The government passed the information through the country’s State Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Christopher Kibanzanga who issued the stern warning during a live interview with the Daily Monitor yesterday.
Speaking on the expected famine, he said the plague was as a result of the delayed rain and drought currently experienced in the country. He said the drought has stretched beyond March into April resulting in crop failure.
"We are certainly not going to have enough food. Our appeal to farmers is not to take everything to the market.
"Traders should take [sell] food to areas like eastern Uganda, northern Uganda, and Karamoja sub-region which do not have food," Mr. Kibanzanga said.
He, however, said that the Ugandan government will do all it can to support mini and large scale irrigation schemes across the country to minimize over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture as it is done currently.
You will recall that at the beginning of March, the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) which is the government agency for weather forecast predicted that most parts of the country would receive plenty of rainfall.
They enjoined farmers to start planting their crops and expect bountiful harvest due to the large amount of rainfall that the country will be witnessing.
The initial showers that came after the forecast cleared every iota of doubt farmers had and lured them to go out unto the fields to plant their crops, but the skies soon dried up and crop wilted under the scorching sunshine.
Mr. Festus Luboyera, the UNMA executive director, later issued a statement attributing the current dry spell conditions to the tropical cyclone which last month ravaged Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar and left an estimated 1,000 people dead.
"The cyclone led to the development of low-pressure system around the Mozambique channel which resulted in the weakening of southeasterly trade winds. These winds became diverted towards the channel, depriving moisture-laden winds to reach our country which is why we have experienced the dry spells," Mr. Luboyera said in a statement.
In the same vein, Ms. Agnes Kirabo, the executive director of Food Rights Alliance, a civil society organization, said the government should be blamed for failing to store produce of the previous season.
"There was a dramatic bumper harvest but most of the grain, which would have been used in this bad season, was wasted," she said.
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Quotes Credit: The Monitor
Header mage Credit: Newsweek