Karimojong pastoralists demand ministry

Karimojong pastoralists demand ministry

Karimojong pastoralists demand ministry


Mark Logit, a Karimojong
pastoralists from Acherer in
Nakapiripirit district observed
that the challenges surround-
ing Karimojong pastoralists
can be fought if government
could create special minis-
try in charge of pastoralisim.
This ministry would deal with
crosscutting issues affect-
ing pastoralisim, including
approving a separate budget
for pastoralisim.

BY STEVEN ARIONG
KARAMOJA, UGANDA

Karimojong pastoralists demand ministry

Karimojong pastoralists
demand ministry

Karamoja region is an agro-pastoralist region located in the north east of Uganda. The region’s main economic
activity is livestock rearing mainly cattle
but also includes camels, donkeys, sheep
and goats.
The Karimojong pastoralists preferred
rearing livestock because livestock has
an advantage over crops and animals
can be moved from place to place in
search of water and pasture depending
on the season.
But because of the regions’ aridi-
ty and unreliable weather pattern, the
Karimojong pastoralists in the region
have faced several challenges includ-
ing drought, lack of water and pasture
for their animals. The region’s rainfall
patterns are low, with an average of 500-
700 millilitres of rainfall per year.
Although traditionally the pastoral-
ists community in Karamoja used to
obtained water through traditional water
catchments but still the challenge is that
the traditional water catchments do not
normally last very long at any one place
and therefore prevent overgrazing as the
cattle have to be moved from one water
hole to another.
Government constructed several water
dams in the region but it is unfortunate
that most of these dams only few like
Arecek in Napak district, Kobebe in
Moroto and Lotirirr dam in Kaabong
which always keeps some little volume
of water but the rest dry out completely
when rains disappears. This leaves pas-
toralists stranded in the region.
However, pastoralists who spoke to
the Turkana Guardian were confident
that the current challenges that they
are facing can be addressed if govern-
ment could only pay serious attention to them.
Mark Logit, a Karimojong pastoralists
from Acherer in Nakapiripirit district
observed that the challenges surrounding
Karimojong pastoralists can be fought if
government could create special min-
istry in charge of pastoralisim. This
ministry would deal with crosscutting
issues affecting pastoralisim, including
approving a separate budget for pasto-
ralisim.
“All these challenges that we are fac-
ing as pastoralists is just because gov-
ernment is reluctant to address them,”
he said.
He said creating a ministry for pas-
toralisim would serve as a vision and
practical in recognizing the needs of the
pastoral development.
Timothy Louke, another pastoralist in
Kotido appealed government and devel-
opment partners to recognize pastoral-
ism as a viable livelihood system that
needs to be supported and developed.
The Napak district chairman Mr.
Joseph Lomonyang said in order to
improve the pastoral sector government
has to improve on five measures, which
include, improving water, pasture and
animal health care as a priority through
subsidies and promotion of indigenous
institutions.
He said others things are improving
livestock markets through provision of
marketing information and the necessary
infrastructure; review of the national
food policy in order to enhance pastoral
food security.
“We received information that gov-
ernment is planning to discourage rear-
ing of animals and pastoralists should
embark on growing crops but this won’t
work in Karamoja. Well crop-growing
can be there but livestock rearing will
remain the first priority in Karamoja,”
he said.
Mr. Simon Nangiro, the opinion leader
in Moroto said the Karimojong pasto-
ralists are used to living in the harsh
weather and appealed the experts not to
be deceived with unpredictable weather
in Karamoja.
“Karamoja is not suitable for agricul-
ture because of its weather even the few
people who try to grow crops they lose
crops to sunshine but they don’t lose
livestock,” he said.
Mr. Jimmy Lomukol, the Karamoja
private sector promotion centre director
said pastoralism is economic activity
for the people of Karamoja and that it’s
the only activity which matches with
drought in the region and called upon
government to modify it by putting more
infrastructure.
He said every four years Karamoja
region experiences serious drought that
cannot even allow crop-growing but
pastoralists have got used to it because
they move with their animals.
Karamoja region is lagging behind in
terms of education the region has only
11 per cent literacy level compared to
the national average of 67 per cent.
The survey by the Uganda Bureau of
Statistics shows that literacy rates in the
region is at 21 percent compared to a
national average of 68 per cent.
The effort to the comment from the
State Minister of Agriculture and ani-
mal industries Mr. Bright Ruwamiriama
were futile as his phone was switched
off.



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