The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has Monday morning dispatched humanitarian relief to the most vulnerable groups of people living in the two districts of Kalungu and Kamuli.
Food items amounting to 200 bags of posho and 60 bags of beans will be delivered to the sick, widows, persons living with HIV and disabilities, child headed families and other special groups in each of the districts.
According to John Martin Owori -the Commissioner for Disaster Management in OPM, despite the drought that has hit several parts of the country, government will not distribute food to all Ugandans saying it is costly.
“We shall be distributing enough food to take these individuals as far as 20 days. Then we shall continue monitoring the situation and once they are still in dire need after the 20 days, we shall continue dispatching food,” Owori told journalists at the OPM Relief Warehouse in Kampala.
“We cant give food to everybody in need. If we were to provide food to every Ugandan, it would cost us Ugshs 34 billion on a daily basis. Government can’t afford to raise such money.”
He added; “We are targeting about 1,300,000 people who fall under the category of the most vulnerable who are incapacitated to fend for themselves following the drought.”
Priority has been given to districts that fall in the cattle corridor which received significantly less rains this year than normal. Government has so far provided relief in districts of Bukomansimbi, Soroti, Katakwi, Rakai and Isingiro.
Once distribution has been done in the cattle corridor area, government will move to Teeso and Karamoja sub regions which have equally been heavily affected by the drought.
A total of Ugsh 3.3 billion has so far been spent in food relief and the Department of Disaster Management has written to the Ministry of Finance requesting for an additional Ugshs 15 billion for the same cause.
Owori denied claims that government has been distributing meager amounts (as little as 1 kilogram) per household in the drought-affected districts.
He said investigations will be conducted to ascertain the facts.
Owori said that government’s focus is to encourage people to plant crops that withstand hard conditions like cow peas, potatoes and cassava to ensure self sustainability and food security at family level.