Authorities in Kotido district are calling for the regulated movement of people who are searching for food in neighboring districts as a result of biting hunger.
Officials say that hundreds of girls could have migrated to the
neighboring districts of Abim, Amuria, Agago and now to Kitgum with the hope of
exchanging labor for sorghum, dry cassava chips or potatoes to feed their
families back home.
However, some of the girls have reportedly ended up being
exploited, sexually abused or even trafficked.
Lawrence Ongwara, the District
Community Development Officer of Kotido says that many girls have ended up with unwanted pregnancies and
HIV as they struggle to make ends meet in different places.
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On Thursday, Kitgum District Authorities ejected a group
of 10 girls aged between 10and 16 years who had gone to the area in search of Jobs but
The girls said they were destined for Palongo in Agago
district but the driver of the lorry they boarded took them beyond their
destination and dropped them at Ongomoromo, near the south Sudan border.
Madelena Akut, one of the returned girls told our reporter at
Kotido Central Police Station that she decided to move to Agago, a place she
had never been before to provide labor to provide support to her family which can hardly afford a meal.
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It’s common for parents in Kotido to allow their girl
children to go out providing paid labor for survival of the family.
Currently, the district is hit by famine due to the failed crop
harvest last year.
In February, The Office of the Prime Minister sent 250 bags
of maize grain and 50 bags of beans to Kotido District but the food targeted
only the “most vulnerable persons.”