MOROTO. The Moroto Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Ms Helen Pulkol, has launched what she called ‘door-to-door wake up campaign’ to mobilise farmers to start planting fast maturing crops.
Karamoja sub-region started receiving heavy rains last week. Ms Pulkol said every household must have at least three acres of crops one for maize, sorghum and vegetables.
She said farmers in Karamoja always watch as the first rains pass, and that when the rains are about to stop they then begin planting crops that get affected by drought.
“We must try to plant early with the current rains so that by the time they stop, crops would be at the maturing stage,” she said last week.
The return of rain has excited the pastoralist community.
In the last three months, Karamoja has been facing severe drought. This created panic among the Karimojong and Turkana with many of them opting to cross to the neighbouring districts of Teso in search of water and pasture for their animals.
Mr Mark Losike, a pastoralist from Rupa Sub-county in Moroto District said some of the seasonal rivers that had dried up are now full. “We thank God, we were worried over the severe drought, if it had continued it was going to be very bad for us,” he said.
He said the return of rains in the region will prevent animals from getting emaciated.
A severe drought in September 2014 hit the cattle corridor including Teso and Karamoja sub-regions, causing an acute shortage of water and leaving the lives of humans as well as cattle in danger. The prolonged drought led to the drying up of several valley dams, shallow wells, boreholes and spring wells. Land in most hit places was parched, reducing the grazing fields to powdery soils that animals struggled to feed on.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor