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Food shortage to worsen — FAOPublish Date: Aug 03, 2009
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By Ayiga Ondoga

FOOD shortage in the north and eastern Uganda is likely to worsen in the coming months due to crop failure, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has predicted.

Tom Buruku, the chairman of the Uganda Red Cross Society, said the situation was severe because of the persistent drought and poor harvest where there is no food stock in homes.

Buruku said the society launched an operation worth sh5.6b to support 50,000 people in 12 districts affected by famine.

He added that since the launch, various items, such as 34,080kg of maize flour, 11,867kg of beans, 1,504 packets of salt, 3,400kg of maize grains, 1,200 cartoons of biscuits and 360 packets of juice were collected from organisations and individuals.

Buruku said they had realised over sh5.8m in cash and sh15.1m in pledges.

He disclosed that FAO planned to provide seeds to 100,000 families in the north, east and Karamoja region to avert the food shortage.

Buruku urged the public to make donations towards the famine-hit areas.

He urged the public to forget about their religious, tribal or political differences and focus on saving the lives of those suffering because of hunger.

Michael Nataka, the secretary general of the Uganda Red Cross, said the organisation had received sh54m from the Danish Red Cross to support 1,550 households in Adwari sub-county, Lira district.

He added that they planned to provide 15,000 seed kits to Amuria, Katakwi and Lira districts to increase seed stock.

“We have stopped deaths in the famine-hit areas in north and eastern Uganda because we focus on the vulnerable people,” Nataka stated.

He thanked organisations like the Milton Obote Foundation and Shell-Uganda for their contributions, which have benefited 815 households in Amuria, Soroti and Katakwi districts.

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