At least 15 people have committed suicide in the Northern district of Pader within one year, Freedom Grace Kwiyucwiny, the Minister of State in charge of Northern Uganda Rehabilitation has said.
The Minister blamed many of the suicide cases on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that used to carry out psychosocial support and counseling programmes, but have closed shop in the district.
The Minister was responding to a concern raised by Lucy Aciro Otim, MP Aruu North, over the rising cases of suicide in Pader District, calling for investigations and appropriate interventions from Government o.
Kwiyucwiny told Parliament that her investigations established that there are indeed cases of suicide in Pader District mainly from Aruu North. These have occurred since January 2018 and based on the breakdown, seven of the suicide cases are in Lapur Sub County, while four cases were recorded in Lagur Sub County, and two in Atanga Sub County registered two cases.
Other cases were registered in Aruu South Constituency, with Ogom Sub County and Puranga Sub County registering one case each.
This brings the total number of suicide cases in the district to 15 January 2018.
The Minister told Parliament that most of the suicide cases are as a result of domestic conflict between child and parent, and wife and husband, arising from various issues including early marriage, early pregnancy, land and related property conflict.
Further, the Minister said that many of the suicide cases are committed by use of drugs/pesticides (Dudumaki) used for killing pests in cotton.
“It was further established that many suicide cases are not reported to police as the victims are quickly buried. It has now emerged that there is growing need for psychosocial support and counseling,” the Minister said.
She promised to work with both the Regional and District Security offices to establish the scope of the matter as well as discuss with NGOs to help reactivate psychosocial support and counseling programmes in Northern Uganda starting with Pader and Omoro Districts where the prevalence is high.