Drought and starvation throughout Uganda.


          Allow me to present to you this report concerning a strange situation in Uganda due to the long drought which destroyed the gardens all over the country. For three seasons now farmers work in vain without any harvest. Water has become scarce in every rural community. Wetlands, wells, boreholes,streams and every small water source has dried up. Only those who live near the lakes and rivers are the ones who still have access to enough water.

          In the village communities, people did not buy food from the food stores. Every one gets food from his or her own garden, but for over a whole year now, scant amounts of food have been harvested from their gardens. So they are buying everything expensively from the shops/store and prices are very high. The value of the Ugandan schilling has plunged into a dreadful place. They also have to buy water expensively as well. Business men with big trucks fetch water in big drums from the lakes or rivers, load their trucks and drive to the villages to sell water. Animals are dying due to luck of pasture and water. Village people are forced to sell their animals at a very small amount of money because they have no choice.
           Many people have died of hunger in different parts of the country. In the rural communities in Tororo, district (Eastern Uganda) including my home village known as Osia, where my mom and the family lives, many people have died. Most of these people are the poorest helpless people who have no one to stand with them/ give them any help. The death toll increased after people began to die of suspected food poisoning. Serious investigation which involved the police, village leaders and medical personnel was done, and they found out that all the cassava plant has become poisonous. People are warned not to eat cassava anymore. Casava to the African, is like the potato was to the Irish during the Irish famine. This made the situation even worse in many parts of Tororo because cassava bread and fresh boiled cassava is one of their main traditional foods, and its the most common available foods at this time because it lasts long in the garden/ground and it's more resistant to drought compared to other food plantations.
          In Bukedea (Teso region), [the home of Pastor Okurut Robert], the situation is as worse as you can see from the attached photos reported by Okurut. In the villages of Namayingo district, too bad as well because these people live near the shores of Lake Victoria, they have turned to the lake as their only source of survival food-by collecting snail shells which they sell to rich men who own processing factories that turns these shells into valuable stuffs. These rich men come with their big trucks to the villages and buy the shells from the people very cheaply. They are taking advantage of their hunger situation. 100kgs of shells costs 3000 Schillings equal to 75 cents U.S.----more than a day's wages. This work has taken many peoples lives because their is a deadly worm from the lake which sticks to their body and sucks blood. In women it enters their private parts. This worm kills quickly. Many deaths have been reported as well of those who fear to go to the lake to collect shells. Some have starved to death.

          In Lusenke the situation is alarming as well. Many of the poorest helpless village people are starving. Lusenke church members who have goats, pigs, chickens, which are still alive, have decided to sell them and bring the money to share with our starving fellow brethren in the Church. We also help some non christians who are equaly badly off. Son----Bishop Bita James Oloo



I apologize that we have no photos for this report. The photos we received we not of a quality to adequately display the tragic circumstances across Uganda at this time. Danny McDowell---C.O.B,/Bibles for Uganda