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February 5, 2023
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WFP and AFI move to turn Karenga district into a fish zone for Karamoja region

By obbo yusuf 

obboyusuf43@gmail.com

Andre foods international with support from World food program have opted to turn karenga district, one of districts in Karamoja region into a fish zone for karamoja region.

A pilot study was done on 15 fish ponds which have done well hence now the program has been scaled up to adding on over 100 fish ponds.

According to world food program country director in Uganda Abdirahman Meygag  ’’ the available market in kidepo park will enable fish farming boom in the area to support over 2000 households at first hence enable them fight poverty and malnutrition in their homes by boosting household income.

some of the set up fish ponds

Despite the fact that Karenga district is a bit green unlike other districts of karamoja ,large scale farming has failed due to the existence of wild animals  from kidepo National park that attack gardens and farmers ,hence leaving communities with nothing sustainable to rely on. being the green belt Andre foods international with assistance from WFP started fish farming in 2021 with one fish pond as a demonstration and later communities picked interest expanded to 15 now upon the visit of the wfp country director, wfp has moved on to scale up the program to more 100 fish ponds which will  benefit over 2000 households around Karenga district.

World food program together with its implementing partner Andre foods international have been at the fore front of fighting hunger and malnutrition in the region by providing food assistance to school going children for over 50 years, now the organizations are now embarking on income generating avenues to make the communities stand on their own not relying on only assistance from development partners.

The wfp country representative to Uganda Abdirahman Meygag  says ‘’it’s unfortunate that the agro pastoral region of karamoja relies on pastoralism or cattle keeping which later attract insecurity to them ,animals are raided and more continue to loose lives and this is every ones concern  so world food program’s together with her partners like Andre foods international and sassakawa are now more on livelihood programs ,only on those sustainable programs that will change the lives of the people of karamoja like Apiculture, fish farming and vegetable gardening to improve on Nutrition as well as fight hunger and poverty in their homes’’ The country director adds thats the new government intervention of parish model will help so much and encouraged organized farmers to embrace the program .

According to the regional coordinator for Andre foods international Timothy Chewere says karamoja region is still highly challenged by acute malnutrition and this is attributed to issues like failure to support them. Despite the fact that there has been maximum support to overcome malnutrition challenges by humanitarian organizations and ministry of health there has been no good results and now wfp and Andre foods international are now targeting climate smart approaches to deal with food insecurity in the region.

Timothy adds on that ‘’Karamoja does not have the same malnutrition prevalence compared to the districts like Abim and Amudat though in total its high and therefore they have set sustainable programs that will involve communities fight  it at household level using Malnutrition eradication therapy Uganda –METU-01  where it involves the mix of local food items as a therapy to acute and moderate malnutrition  and this will enable wfp cut off expenses of importing Nutritious foods and rely on the local means brought up by Andre foods international.’’

The wfp country representative in Uganda Abdirahman Meygag says it’s now time for wfp and its partners to strengthen more on livelihood programs than relying only on food distributed by wfp

Besides fish farming Andre foods international is also assisting communities to do a picture /bee keeping in districts of Abim and Amudat,as another economic activity  which honey will also be used in mixing METU -01  a local formulae of fighting malnutrition using local food items .

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