MPs do your job – undo Karamoja famine by design

As politicians and political parties jostle to outshine the other as the saviour of Karamoja and are making paltry donations of food aid that perhaps costs more per capita to deliver to Karimojong households, I am tickled by the irony that they are oblivious of the fact that they are responsible for causing the latest crisis in Karamoja and many more others in the past.

How so tone-deaf of them to be gleefully sharing imagery of the suffering of the people of Karamoja – poverty porn – to accompany their perceived good deeds for Karamoja. Yak! I am reminded of Charles Matege’s commentary in reaction to Simon Peter Longole’s spot on analysis of Karamoja’s cattle-economy in crisis. Matege wrote:

“This post (Longole’s Karamoja’s cattle-economy in crisis) perfectly denotes the lazy approach to consultation with the natives or victims and prescribing solutions for challenges that miss diagnosed. The beneficiaries of those so called projects have always ended up suffering because of lacking in réorientation in the implémentation phase of à specific Community programme. Our Goverment and NGOs should by now realise who comes first in any project, is it for the main stakeholder or the drafted blue print of the project.

Plus, there is not à one size fits all solution that works, this has been proven time and time again. Domestication is not the best solution to solving Karimojong livelihoods. They are well suited to à nomadic lifestyle which should be catered for, through creation of common land with proper camping and pest control measures. I find the best example of such practice in current day USA by the cow-boys.”

Honestly, the Karimojong don’t need the Parliament of Uganda to join the ‘self-seeking-publicity-stunt-donors’ in making paltry and unsustainable charitable donations to Karamoja. They need members of parliament – and I mean all members of parliament – to fight for them so that development comes to Karamoja that is consistent with the way of life of the Karimojong.

You cannot be the authors and or the ones who approve maldevelopment interventions for Karamoja and at the same time you think you will impress by blowing your own trumpets when you donate culturally inappropriate food aid to Karamoja. You are in the August House to debate and to ensure policies that work for the people are in place; appropriate budgetary allocations are made; and interventions are implemented accordingly. Do your job.

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