Gov’t To Carry Out Live­stock Cen­sus In Otuke District

Gov’t To Carry Out Live­stock Cen­sus In Otuke District

Gov­ern­ment has re­solved to carry out an im­me­di­ate live­stock cen­sus to rest ten­sions be­tween Karamajong herds­men and lo­cals in the neigh­bor­ing dis­trict of Otuke.

The res­o­lu­tion fol­lows com­plaints by Otuke dis­trict lead­ers over the il­le­gal set­tle­ment of the herds­men in their dis­trict in De­cem­ber last year.

“A cen­sus of all an­i­mals in each herd should be con­ducted with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, and the same will be re­peated at the time the herds­men will be go­ing back to Karamoja,’ reads part of a gov­ern­ment state­ment to Par­lia­ment.

The state­ment pre­sented by Moses Kizige, the min­is­ter of State for Karamoja Af­fairs on Thurs­day also high­lighted the need for prior con­sul­ta­tions among dis­trict lead­ers be­fore cat­tle move­ments are un­der­taken to avoid risks faced in Otuke to­day.

“The move­ments by the herds­men have put rea­son­able pres­sure on ex­ist­ing so­cial ser­vices like health units, sources of drink­ing wa­ter, food sup­plies and vet­eri­nary ser­vices.” said Kizige.

As a mea­sure gov­ern­men­t was un­der­tak­ing sys­tem­atic with­drawal of the herds­men from af­fected ar­eas.

On Jan­u­ary 10, 2017, Ms Sylvia Akello (Otuke Woman MP) rais­ing a mat­ter of na­tional im­por­tance said that the Kara­ma­jong herds­men be­sides de­stroy­ing crops were a se­cu­rity threat in the area since many were be­lieved to be armed.

How­ever, Kizige’s state­ment in­di­cated that such claims were mere ru­mors hyped by politi­cians in the af­fected ar­eas.

“The se­cu­rity re­ports re­ceived do not pro­vide ev­i­dence that the herds­men are armed with guns,” he said.

In De­cem­ber last year, an es­ti­mated num­ber of 5000 cat­tle keep­ers with about 10,000 lives stock moved from  Karamoja mainly from Kotido and en­tered Og­wete in Otuke dis­trict and some f theme moved fur­ther to Ageni Choko­bel and Mo­roto Parish in Al­be­tong dis­trict.

Other dis­tricts in­clude Abim, Alebtong and ar­eas of the greater Lango re­gion in­clud­ing Amuria.

This mass mi­gra­tion is largely at­trib­uted to low lev­els of rain­fall and the semi-arid na­ture of the Karamoja re­gion cou­pled with pro­longed dry spell that hit most parts of the coun­try.

@Parliament watch