By Kampala Post Reporter
MOROTO. The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has reiterated that Karamoja can feed Karamoja when the people get mobilized to open up land and produce enough food.
The First Lady who was in Karamoja on Wednesday last week on her School Feeding and Nutrition Campaign was hosted for a talk show by the All Karamoja FM Radio Station.
She said that Karamoja’s children must also be treated like all the other children in Uganda and must be fed with nutritious food while at home and in school.
“I know it might not be possible for Karimojong parents to pack food for their school-going children, but it is an obligation for the parents to engage in food production to ensure food security and get what to feed their children at home while the Government continues with its programme to feed the children while at school,” she said.
The First Lady, while still Minister for Karamoja Affairs initiated the ‘Karamoja Feeds Karamoja’ programme where food for feeding Karamoja’s children at school is grown at Namalu Prison Farm in Nakapiripirit District by the Karamoja Affairs Ministry in partnership with Uganda Prison Services and is distributed by World Food Programme (WFP) to schools in the region.
She informed the people of Karamoja that no other area in Uganda has Government support for feeding children at school and their region is still being supported as it grows in food production.
She implored the leaders in Karamoja to mobilize the people to take advantage of the current rains and the big chunks of the fertile land in the region to grow enough food and store some in granaries for their families.
“Karamoja should start feeding itself,” she emphasized.
She requested the Karimojong parents not to let their children go to school on empty stomachs but feed them in the morning with a mixture of sorghum flour, which they grow, and milk from the cows they keep. She said it is sad that Karimojong children go to school only because they are induced by the food provided there and run away from home because of lack of food.
She said though the Countrywide School Feeding and Nutrition campaign is supposed to help her as the Minister of Education to enable quality education, it is primarily the responsibility of parents to ensure that the children who go to school are fed to prevent them from falling sick and being often absent from school and to ensure that they perform well.
“I will keep my ears on the ground to hear that the people of Karamoja have grown food, harvested a lot and kept some in the granaries. Please don’t let this rain go without you doing something to produce food,” she said.
The First Lady was welcomed to Karamoja by the Minister for Karamoja Affairs Engineer John Byabagambi, Woman MP Napak Stella Namoe Inyomera, Albert Lokoroi MP Tepeth, Hillary Lokwang MP IK, the RDCs and District Chairpersons of Napak and Moroto plus their technical officers and the Karamoja Affairs Ministry technical officers led by the Under-Secretary Pacification and Development in the Office of the Prime Minster.
Monitoring tour of Moroto Technical Institute
First Lady Janet Museveni also took time off to monitor the status of some of the projects she initiated in the region during her tenure as Karamoja Affairs Minister. She visited Moroto Technical Institute taken over by Government in 2012 and which she officially opened.
Flanked by the Hon Byabagambi, present Minister of Karamoja Affairs and other leaders from Karamoja plus the technical team they were taken on a guided tour by the Moroto Institute’s Principal Akite Hellen Grace.
The First Lady said that Moroto Technical Institute is among the many that Government plans to expand, equip and staff with instructors.
Minister Byabagambi pledged that his ministry will fulfill the pledge of fencing off the Institute’s 20.48 hectares of land.
Commissioning Kalokengel Primary School Dormitory
The First Lady also toured the infrastructure development at Kalokengel Health Centre III and commissioned a dormitory at Kalonkengel Primary School in Lotome Sub County in Napak District. The dormitory will accommodate 56 pupils. These are among the developments under the Government of Uganda funded Dryland Development Project initiated in Karamoja by the First Lady in 2014.
It will run to the end of 2019 in 4 Sub Counties in the South Karamoja Districts. The project serves 99,900 people
The team Leader for Dryland Integrated Development Project in Karamoja Robert Ayesiga reported that great strides have been made towards the project goal of contributing to increased income and reduced poverty among the pastoral population in Uganda and several completed projects under this programme have already been commissioned.