The heavy rain in Kampala this morning provided much welcome relief from the heat. Meterologists say the rains will continue sporadically around the country for the next two weeks. Don’t celebrate yet, though. This, from the latest Famine Early Network System report on Uganda:
In the July to September most-likely scenario, food insecurity is expected to further deteriorate in eastern, northern, and northeastern Uganda. Lower than normal harvests and food availability will curtail recent improvements in food security in eastern (Amuria and Katakwi districts) and northern Uganda. Dry conditions in agropastoral areas of Karamoja limit prospects for crop improvement although wetter areas of the region may still produce a relatively good harvest. The dry conditions, along with reduced pastures, water, and livestock production, will diminish food security conditions for pastoralists and agropastoralists. High crop prices will reduce households’ access to markets, heightening food insecurity. The food insecure population during this period could reach 1.5 million people in eastern, northern, and northeastern Uganda.
During the October to December most-likely scenario, near normal to normal crop harvests could result in improved food security in northern and parts of eastern Uganda. The number of people at risk in northeastern Uganda will also decline slightly with the harvest in the wetter areas. In this scenario, the number of food insecure people is expected to decrease to between one million to 1.2 million people in eastern and northeastern Uganda. Outside eastern and northern Uganda, bimodal districts will experience normal food security, supported by normal second season harvests and increased food availability beginning in November 2009.
FEWS NET says nothing about Uganda’s traditional bread baskets in the Elgon, Lake Victoria basin and western regions. However reports there say harvests of essential commodities like maize, rice, sorghum, millet and beans are dwindling. Already milk prices have increased by 5 percent. Further price details are available at the Uganda Commodities Exchange.
Why we have a government that is totally unable to anticipate these problems, to improve food distribution and market access across the country and to make timely interventions, I don’t understand.
Brace for the worst.