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Food Prices Shoot up In Karamoja As Road Ambushes Interrupt Supplies

Prices of food commodities in Karamoja sub region has gone up after traders suspended supplying food to the drought-stricken region.

The suspension of food supplies to Karamoja by traders follows continuous attacks by so-called Karimojong cattle rustlers on traders.

Karamoja region gets 97% of its food commodities from the neighboring districts such as Sebei, Bugisu, Teso, Lango and Acholi sub-regions.

Peter Wamuno, the secretary, Moroto Traders Association said many traders mainly from Bugisu, Sebei, and Teso who always supply food to the region have stopped the business, fearing for their lives.

He said the traders suspended food supply to the region after several attacks by cattle rustlers on the traders.

He said in the recent attack last week, three lorries carrying traders were shot at in Nabilatuk district.

“We thank God that no trader lost his live although they sustained injuries,” he said.

Ms Odrine Namboze, one of the traders said the traders’ decision to stop supplying food in Karamoja has made food price shoot up.

She added that the prices are likely to go up should the traders maintain their stand of not going to Karamoja.

A visit to some of the stores and retail shops in Moroto found the prices of commodities unusually high.

A kilogram of maize flour which was sold at 1,800 shillings has risen up to 3,800 shillings while a kilogram of beans which was sold at 2,300 shillings two weeks ago is currently being sold at shs 3,800, depending the type.

Patrick Dengel a retailer said from last week no trader has ever gone to supply food to the region.

“You can see my shop is getting empty, food is finished, I need posho, beans, rice but traders have not come to Moroto,” he said.

Joel Longol another trader said the situation is going to be worse in the next two weeks if the traders don’t supply food in the region by staying away from Karamoja.

“The government needs to help us against these rustlers because their actions are causing serious harm to the innocent people,” he said.

Karamoja region is currently battling with insecurity which has paralyzed development in the region.

Despite the presence of heavily armed Police and soldiers deployed to deal with the criminality in the region, the cattle rustlers have continued waylaying traders in road ambushes and raiding for animals.

But Micheal Longole the Karamoja regional Police spokesperson said the situation was normal and advised the traders to continue with their business.

“The security is on top of the situation so the public should not be worried,” he said.


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