Uganda has been mapped into a protracted food crisis zone by a new the United Nations
By David Lumu
Uganda has been mapped into a protracted food crisis zone by a new the United Nations.
According to the 2015 report on the State of Food Insecurity in the World released Friday by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, hunger remains an every day challenge for 10m Ugandans.
The experts argue that this figure of under-fed or malnourished people indicates that the country has scored dismally on the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) one—eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.
For instance, the report shows that the prevalence of undernourishment in Uganda has been increasing from 4.2m in 1990 to 10.3m in 2015 up from 8.7m people in 2010.
“Eastern Africa remains the subregion with the biggest hunger problem in absolute terms, being home to 124 million undernourished people,” the report states.
In east Africa, Tanzania has the worst undernourishment figures (16.8m), while Kenya comes third (9.9m) and Rwanda register a minimal 3.9m people, who are under-fed. Uganda is second.
In Africa, the report notes that only four countries—Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia—have achieved MDG one as the world starts to craft the post-MDGs agenda. 2015 was the target for MDGs.
“About 795 million people are undernourished globally, down 167 million over the last decade, and 216 million less than in 1990-92. The decline is more pronounced in developing regions, despite significant population growth,” the report states.
Yet according to Vincent Ssempijja Bamulangaki, the State Minister for Agriculture, the issue of food security in a country that is endowed with two planting seasons raises more questions than answers.
“We still have problems in agriculture, especially in the area of food security. We need to change the mindset of our people by educating them on what to do, especially when to plant, what to eat, how to store food and also teach them mechanisms of expanding into commercial agriculture,” he said.
“Having 10m people under-fed is a huge number, and we have to look into the issue with a keen eye,” he added.
Uganda has 36m people, according to the 2014 population census. There are 7.3m households countrywide.
To curb he hunger figures, UN experts are suggesting an increase in the social protection systems in developing countries.
“Social protection directly contributes to the reduction of poverty, hunger and malnutrition by promoting income security and access to better nutrition, health care and education. By improving human capacities and mitigating the impacts of shocks, social protection fosters the ability of the poor to participate in growth through better access to employment,” the report states.
Christopher Mwanje, a nutrition and dietetics expert from Kyambogo University said that of the 10m projected hunger-stricken Ugandans, majority might be children but also the figure points to a great problem of ignorance on what to do.
“People have land but they are not well-sensitised on what to do. Ignorance explains most of these deficiencies. Then those who have food don’t know how to eat properly. Even mothers who prepare food at home are not sensitized on what to feed the family,” he said.
10m Ugandans are under-fed - UN report