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Over Reliance on Pastoralism Plunges Thousands into Starvation in Nakaseke

Godfrey Batalingaya, the LC 1 chairperson of Mazzi-Malungi village in Kinyogoga Sub-County, says that the lockdown saw a ban on Cattle markets in the area to stem the spread of COVID-19. According to Batalingaya, many of the residents in his jurisdiction who could take cattle products to markets every Monday were affected seriously due to loss of income.
MP Enock Nyongore donates maize flour & beans to Sylvia Nalugo, one of the needy in Nakaseke

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About 85 per cent of the residents of Nakaseke North Constituency in Nakaseke district are facing starvation after abandoning crop production in preference of cattle farming.    

The affected are residents of Ngoma Town Council, Ngoma, Kinyogoga and Kinoni Sub-Counties, whose mainstay is pastoralism. The National Census and Household Survey conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS in 2014 showed that the total population of Nakaseke North Constituency stood at 79,074. 

Only 15 percent are engaged in crop production. They produce Maize, Cassava and Beans among others. The remaining people are involved in rearing animals despite holding huge chunks of land. The pastoralists earn their livelihood through the sale of livestock and their products. From their earnings, the pastoralists buy food for their families. 

The ban on public and private transport as part of the COVID-19 containment measures has taken a huge toll on the pastoralists. Sylvia Nalugo, a resident of Mazzi-Malungi village in Kinyogoga Sub-County and mother of three months triplets says that her husband, Samuel Mugenyi abandoned their home after losing his job because of the lockdown.

According to Nalugo, she is finding it very hard to fend for her family because they used to buy foodstuff due to little or no cultivation on their home garden.

Luganda Audio

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Godfrey Batalingaya, the LC 1 chairperson of Mazzi-Malungi village in Kinyogoga Sub-County, says that the lockdown saw a ban on Cattle markets in the area to stem the spread of COVID-19.

According to Batalingaya, many of the residents in his jurisdiction who could take cattle products to markets every Monday were affected seriously due to loss of income.    

Luganda  Audio

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Enock Nyongore, the Nakaseke North Member of Parliament (MP), says the affected families have turned to their area leaders for relief support. Nyongore has asked the government to help people in the cattle corridor to embrace food production.

 

Luganda Audio

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The MP has donated four tons of maize flour and one ton of beans to the cattle keepers who are no longer earning.

Luganda Audio

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Speaking to URN, the Nakaseke District Agricultural Officer (DAO) Titus Lwera said that although low crop production in Nakaseke North Constituency is partially caused by over-reliance on livestock farming by the populace there, the little and unreliable rainfall worsens the situation.  

According to Lwera, as a district, they intend to kick-start a Shillings 700 million irrigation project funded by the World Bank to support crop cultivation, in addition to increasing sensitization on why they need to balance food and livestock production.   

 

Luganda Audio

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English Audio

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