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Food insecurity in Karamoja sub-region has reached crisis levels. Many people are reported to have starved, with hundreds of thousands more in dire situations with the elderly, children and women being the most hit. The region continues to have the highest food insecurity and malnutrition levels in Uganda due to factors related to inadequate climatic changes like erratic rainfall. While food aid is crucial during times of dire need, a sustainable solution to food insecurity in Karamoja necessitates water availability. Water is important for food production and if we are thinking about increased food production to meet the current demand, then we have to think about better uses of water resources before procuring state-of-the- art tractors for improved agricultural production in Karamoja. Karamoja, as a water-scarce sub-region, should have valley dams and other technologies that harvest the water during the rainy season. It should have micro-irrigation systems for centralized villages such as Napumpumu, Lorengdwat, Nakaperimoru and Loptuk. These could demonstrate to the Karimojong how to improve the quality of their lives. Water harvesting is the only pragmatic and down-to-earth approach that can contribute to the enhancement of water availability in this drought-prone region. But or us to sit back and wait for Karamoja to develop is to be unfair to that region. The communities in Karamoja should be sensitized to undertake water-harvesting at household level. They should also be involved through participatory processes based on demonstration, sensitization, training and reinforcement of their technical skills to predict and adapt to weather changes. We need to shift from political-strategic thinking to result-based approaches that create impact on ground. We should also stop rhetoric about developing Karamoja and start impact-based support to people in Kaabong, Abim, Kotido and Moroto districts. Shadia Nakazibwe, nakazibweshadia61@gmail.com letters@observer.ug


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