The famine ravaging Karamoja sub-region has taken another risky twist with parents resorting to giving their children alcohol to induce them to sleep and stop crying due to hunger.
According to Muzamiru Masaba, a health officer at St. Pius Health Center III in Moroto district, parents are using alcohol as an alternative, putting children’s lives at an even greater risk.
Recently, at least 27 people died as a result of hunger.
Currently, the most affected are children under the age of five years. Most of the children taken to health centers for treatment are malnourished.
Between September and October this year, unspecified number of families in Kaabong and Moroto districts fled to Kenya looking for food.
The current hunger is a result of prolonged dry spell in the region and acute crop failure in the last rainy season.
During his campaign trail last month, President Yoweri Museveni, who was assured of Karamoja votes in 2016, a disaantaged semi-arid sub-region in north-eastern Uganda where his wife Janet is minister, promised to construct factories in a sub-region dented by long years of cattle rustling, famine and instability.
President Museveni, who was on a campaign trail with his wife in the sub-region said: “Karamoja is going to become one of the industrial centres of Uganda”.
The President promised to suspend his 2016 campaigns in the second week of December to break the ground for a cement factory in Moroto District.
“This is very satisfying for me, what NRM has done in Karamoja has improved my chances of going to heaven and I am sure God will be very happy with me,” said Mr Museveni.
He added,“We brought peace, immunisation and extended electricity to all other districts except for Kotido, Kaabong, Buvuma and Nwoya,” he added.
Meanwhile, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential flag bearer during his campaign over the weekends promised to establish a national food reserve bank with silos to ensure food security and stabilise the price of the produce in Karamoja.