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.