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Tough times as drought hits Kasese farmers

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd December 2014 04:25 PM

Pastoralists in Kasese district are crying foul after the area was hit by a severe drought, which has left pasture and seasonal rivers dry.

Tough times as drought hits Kasese farmers

Pastoralists in Kasese district are crying foul after the area was hit by a severe drought, which has left pasture and seasonal rivers dry.


By Wilson Asiimwe

Pastoralists in Kasese district are crying foul after the area was hit by a severe drought, which has left pasture and seasonal rivers dry.

Water and pasture are increasingly becoming scarce. The most affected sub-counties are Kitswamba, Karusandara and Nyakatonzi.

“We have lost our animals due to the long drought and we are appealing to Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA] to grant us permission to graze our animals in the park,” said Yowasi Businge, a pastoralist in Bigando.

He said because of the drought some farmers are being forced to sell their animals at give-away prices.

In Nyakatonzi, pastoralists have to trek for more than 15km to access water from River Nyamugasani, which is the only source of water for now.

“All the small streams which we have been using to water our animals have dried up. We do not have pasture and we are living in fear and if we do not get rain in a few days, our animals are going to die. They are already losing weight,” said Peter Bamuturaki.

The drought is not only affecting pastoralists, but, even cultivators are in tears as all their crops are also drying up.

In Kanamba parish, Karusandara, farmers have lost several acres of maize and beans.

“We are expecting famine and increase in food prices because this place is the food basket for Kasese and most of the crops have either withered or dried completely,” said John Byarugaba, a farmer, in Kabukero, Karusandara.

Ezra Turyahabwe, the LC3 chairman for Karusandara, said he is aware of the problem, but it is beyond the ability of the sub-county leadership.

He said in some villages people are being forced to share the available water sources with the animals and appealed to the Government to construct boreholes to save them.

He said most of the farmers have relocated to Mubuku irrigation scheme because there is ready water, but, the land is so small to accommodate all the farmers.

Tough times as drought hits Kasese farmers

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