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Members of Parliament in Uganda call for water access and security improvements in Karamoja to prevent famine.

Urging the government to take affirmative action to improve the livelihoods of Ugandans in the Karamoja sub-region has been a key focus. The committee report noted that providing adequate options for water for production and ensuring security in the region are essential interventions that need to be addressed. Hon. Stella Atyang emphasized the importance of government interventions to improve access to water for food production in Karamoja, highlighting that most of the water schemes in place cater for animals, rather than the people. She stressed that investing in irrigation schemes for Karamoja would greatly reduce challenges, including insecurity. Additionally, Hon. Rosemary Nyakikongoro emphasized the need for government funding to support efforts in addressing the food security challenge, highlighting the importance of utilizing irrigation to increase food production. These concerns were raised following the presentation of a report on the famine situation in Karamoja sub-region, during a plenary sitting held on Tuesday, 06 February 2024. The report by the Committee on Presidential Affairs highlighted limited water access, insecurity, and environmental destruction as the causes of food scarcity in the region. The committee urged the government to prioritize the completion of ongoing construction of water reservoirs to transform Karamoja into a food-secure region. Additionally, withdrawal of the military, cross-border raids, proliferation of firearms, cattle rustling, and delayed disarmament programs in neighboring countries were identified as contributing factors to the intensity of the famine situation in Karamoja. The committee recommended sustainable redeployment and deployment of army officers across the sub-region to ensure security and promote food production. Engaging neighboring countries to address illicit entry of guns and intensifying affirmative action through education were also highlighted as important measures. The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, emphasized the need for the Ministry for Karamoja Affairs to design a specific affirmative action report for Karamoja for discussion in the House, recognizing the importance of Karamoja to the entire country.

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