Uganda (MNN) — Drought and famine in East Africa threaten millions with starvation. Dry conditions aren’t uncommon for the region, but over the last few years, things have gotten worse.
Every Child Ministries works in the Karamoja region of Uganda. Mark Luckey says, “Probably half a million people right now are experiencing starvation, food insecurity, etc. That is about 40 percent of the population in Karamoja. They have suffered from an armyworm infestation that has affected many crops.”
When kids live through famine conditions, it can affect them for the rest of their lives, Luckey says. “Malnutrition will have long-term effects. Even if the kid survives, that’s a critical time for brain development.”
A conflict between farmers and nomadic groups in the region has also made food production more difficult. Luckey says. “A lot of them are still raising cattle and moving around. Historically, there’s been a lot of insecurity with cattle raids and so on. That drives people away from their crops.”
ECM provides immediate relief in Karamoja, but they also want to help farmers going forward. Luckey says, “How do we ensure that farmers are better able to produce crops in these situations, even when the rain is not necessarily there? There have been some changes in the climate. Rains don’t always come when the farmers expect them to come.”
“They miss out on a lot of the rain they could have been growing crops in, but they didn’t plant early enough.”
ECM wants to see kids in the region thrive. They work with local churches, communities, and schools. Pray this work will display the love of Jesus.
The header photo shows armyworms moving down a road. (Photo courtesy of ChriKo, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)