Turkana governor in Uganda to request for pasture

Governor Nanok is scheduled to meet with top Ugandan officials in charge the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs in the four-day trip that began on Wednesday.

Turkana borders the Karamoja region in Uganda where the Karamojong tribe live. The Ugandan government created a ministry to be in charge of the region.

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok has travelled to Uganda to request the country for pasture for thousands of livestock that risk dying because of drought.

Drought has struck Turkana, leaving residents in dire need of water and food for themselves and their livestock.

More than 25, 000 Turkana pastoralists are said to have crossed into the Karamoja region in search of water and pasture and hundreds more are on the way there.

Mr Nanok said prolonged drought has seen most water sources in Turkana West, Loima and Turkana Central dry up, leaving pastoralists desperate.

“We have close to 500, 000 livestock from Turkana currently in Uganda. Due to limited resources herders are now moving further into other parts like Teso and Lango regions,” the governor said.

Ugandan police in Kaabong, Kotido and Abim districts have warned Turkana pastoralists against moving there with illegal firearms, saying they will be sent back if found with them.

Ugandan Regional Commander Allan Tujiizire said that guns promote banditry attacks and anyone found in possession of illegal firearms will be considered to be preparing to disrupt peace in the region.

Local leaders praised the peaceful coexistence between the Turkana and the Karamojong, saying it was helping in dealing with challenges facing the communities.

Turkana County Director of Trade James Lokwale said that peace along the border has seen traders from Lodwar crossing to Moroto, Mbale and Kotido towns in Uganda without any problems and buying goods at affordable prices.

“Turkana traders on the other hand have also found a reliable market for their livestock, fish and basketry,” he said.

The county government has improved link roads to the border and constructed Lokiriama Market and given local women and youths soft loans to buy and sell goods.

The Ugandan government has repaired the road from Moroto to the border and refurbished Nakiloro Market near the border.

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