Leaders call for prayers over rampant suicide cases

Nwoya. Local leaders in Nwoya District have sought the help of religious leaders for divine intervention over the increasing cases of suicide in the district.
Reports from police indicate about 38 people, majority men, have committed suicide by hanging or use of toxins this year alone.
In just one week, two people have committed suicide in Purongo, Sub-county. In a related incident, in Kochgoma Sub-county, William Obina allegedly hanged himself, and left a suicide note accusing his wife of practising witchcraft.
Kochgoma Sub-county chairperson John Bosco Okullu told Daily Monitor on Monday that the increasing suicide cases are worrisome.
“We are requesting religious leaders to intervene, and hold prayers in our area to help reduce the high number of the suicide cases,” Mr Okullu said.
The sub-county leader said the situation has greatly traumatised residents and left housewives on the edge. “We still do not know where the problems are stemming from, but we also cannot rule out that it’s the spirits of the dead people who were brutally killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels and were never accorded decent burial haunting us,” Mr Okullu noted.
Rtd Bishop of Northern Uganda Diocese Macleod Baker Ochola acknowledged that prayers and supplication could help heal the trauma in the region.
“The LRA war caused a lot of trauma among residents. All they need is spiritual nourishment, psychosocial support and counselling to help bring them to the right state of mind,” Bishop Ochola noted.

Futile Efforts
Aswa police spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema noted that despite earlier attempts to sensitise the locals on sharing some of the issues troubling them with the local leaders for possible counseling, the death toll resulting from suicide has not reduced. “Since return and resettlement kicked off in 2006, 260 people have committed suicide in Acholi sub region and from January to date there are 38 cases reported,” he said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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