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Hunger looms in Kasese as food prices risePublish Date: Dec 31, 2013
Hunger looms in Kasese as food prices rise
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A bunch of matooke now goes for sh25,000 from sh10,000 in Kasese due to drought

By Wilson Asiimwe

Due to the persistent drought that has hit most parts of Kasese district and the neighbouring areas, food prices have drastically gone up, leaving many families living on a single meal per a day.

The most affected areas are Munkunyu, Karusandara, muhokya, Rukooki, Bugoye, Maliba and Mahango sub-counties. Farmers have made huge losses because most of the planted crops have dried up and pastoralists cannot find pasture and water for their animals.

In Kasese municipality, a bunch of Matooke has gone up to sh25,000, from sh10,000, while a basin of Irish potatoes has also gone up to sh15,000 from sh6,000.

“Most of our people have now resorted to one meal a day and others even go hungry because all the food dried up. We are now depending on food from other districts,” said John Byamukama, a farmer in Karusandara sub-county.

Food is being brought in from Bushenyi, Kabarole and Rubirizi districts. Byamukama said he lost over 20 acres of maize. Ezra Turyahabwa, the Karusandara sub-county chairman, appealed to humanitarian organisations to come to their rescue.

“Our people are dying because of hunger. All the food they had planted dried and the pastoralists are also in tears because their animals don’t have what to eat,” Turyahabwa said.

Earnest Kasoke, the Muhokya sub-county chairman, said pastoralists have started selling off their animals cheaply. A liter of milk is now sold at sh1,500, up from 1,200 in the last two months.

Last year the Government embarked on the reconstruction of Mubuku irrigation scheme to boost food production in the district.

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