Why pastoralism is not the problem but the solution in Karamoja
The dominant perception of Karamoja within government, the civil service and among development partners is that the population of Karamoja is a) extremely poor, b) their livelihoods are very vulnerable to frequent droughts and c) pastoral livelihoods are not viable in the long term. Empirical evidence shows that these three perceptions are not true. Detailed quantitative research clearly showed that even in a year with almost complete crop failure, the majority of households in the agro-pastoral and pastoral areas of Karamoja were able to cope without external assistance – only very poor households in the agro-pastoral and pastoral areas of Karamoja cannot cope without social support, in about the same proportion as in other areas of Uganda. The household incomes of the different economic groups were broadly comparable with households in the equivalent economic groups in other parts of rural Uganda, particularly once the accumulation of wealth (i.e. increase in herd sizes) is included as income. This report goes more in depth on the myths and facts about food security in Karamoja and comes up with solutions to deal with the problems in the Karamoja.
If you want to know more, please read the full report Report on Karamoja Food Security (2262) The analysis was conducted by a team comprising Simon Levine, Jackson Ondoga, Dr Paul Opio (FAO), Benard Onzima (FAO), Agnes Atyang (FEWSNET), Patrick Nyeko (Samaritans Purse), Richard Ofwono (Save the Children), Dr. Kennedy Igbokwe (FAO), Stella Ssengendo (FAO), Hakuza Annunciata (MAAIF) and Pamela Komujuni (OPM).