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Elders Abandoned in Homes as Hunger Hits Kotido

Loyeng Longoli, another elder aged about 80 years is living with his two grandchildren. The elder has resorted to wild fruits and tree leaves collected by his grandchildren for survival.

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Several children in Kotido district have abandoned their elderly parents in their homes as hunger continues to ravaging Karamoja region. 

A mini survey by our reporter in Kotido indicates that the most energetic youth and women have migrated to the neighboring Agago district to provide paid labor to earn a living.  

Others are in Otukei and some districts of Teso. In Loposa and Rikitae Parishes, a number of elders have starved to death according village leaders.   

At least six people in Panyangara Sub County have reportedly died from hunger related illnesses since March this year, according to the Senior Assistant Secretary, Panyangara, Christine Aleper. 

Some of the deceased have been identified as Otel Lomoi from Rikita and Nyacho Kalawas. Others are Nakoru Lawal of Loputuk village, Potel Lomoe and Apichi, both residents of Loposa in Panyangara Sub County. 

Our reporter saw how two old women in Nakongomutu West were starving with barely any food to eat. The elderly women could barely support themselves or move from where they lay. Some sleep in open huts. 

Aleper Namuogo, who is in her 70s was recently rescued by neighbors after her daughter in-law abandoned her in the family home and moved to Agago district. 

She survives on porridge and local brew alias ebutiya served by neighbors and well-wishers occasionally. 

Voice over 

// cue in “I don’t eat…

Cue out…one place”//

Loyeng Longoli, another elder aged about 80 years is living with his two grandchildren. The elder has resorted to wild fruits and tree leaves collected by his grandchildren for survival. 

Voice over 

// cue in “I just stay…

Cue out…give us food”//

Ambrose Lotukei, the Kotido District Chairperson, says the most affected Sub Counties are Panyangara, Nakapelimoru and Rengen, although the hunger situation has affected the entire district. 

An assessment carried out by the District Production Department indicates that at least 155, 000 people are facing starvation in Kotido district after gardens of sorghum were destroyed by meadow spittle bug last season. 

The pest destroyed more than 18,500 acres of sorghum and maize, the only staple food in Kotido. This rendered 76.3 percent of the population food insecure by January, 2019 according to the food security assessment carried out in July, last year.

Last month, OPM sent 250 bags of maize and 50 bags of beans to Kotido for the most vulnerable households. 

The Chinese food donation launched last month in Nakapiripirit district has not yet reached Kotido district. China offered 10,000 tons of rice for the hunger stricken people across Karamoja.      

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