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Monday, May 22, 2017

#Hunger in #Uganda forcing people to steal mangoes

Mango farmers at Ayer Sub-county in Kole District have reportedly resorted to using dogs to scare away thieves from stealing their fruits.
Local leaders say following biting famine in the area, several youth have resorted to climbing mango trees at night before stealing all available fruits and storing them in sacks.
The Ayer LC3 councillor, Mr Jimmy Ayo, who represents Abur parish, confirmed that due to the rampant theft of mangoes, owners of mango trees are having sleepless nights as they spend most of their time guarding their fruits.
“People are always armed with spears and they deploy dogs to help them guard their mango trees,” he told this newspaper last Friday, adding that most families are now surviving on mangoes due to the biting famine.
Ms Teddy Odongo, the LC3 woman councillor for Lwala parish, said unlike in the past were mango trees were freely accessible even by strangers, the trend has changed since owners are no longer allowing people to pick the fruits freely.
Ms Odongo also confirmed that several households have deployed violent dogs to guard mango trees against thieves, a scenario which was not there in the past.
The two councillors fear that the crime rates in the area might escalate after the mango season as residents look for other means of survival.
According to official statistics from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Kole is one of the 64 districts in the country that are badly hit by famine.
The government through OPM has since made interventions by distributing relief food such as rice to the most vulnerable households, including child headed, the elderly, people with disabilities and those living with HIV/Aids.
Kole recently received 1,800 bags of rice from OPM, but some district officials allegedly stole 48 bags which were later recovered by police hidden in an abandoned old pit latrine at the district headquarters.
Issues
Not for free. Ms Teddy Odongo, the LC3 woman councillor for Lwala parish, mango farmers no longer allow residents to pick the fruits freely.
Guarded. Ms Odongo says several households have deployed violent dogs to guard their mango trees.
Relief food. Kole District recently received 1,800 bags of rice from OPM but some district officials allegedly stole 48 bags.
DAILY MONITOR

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