The first time I heard the name Karamoja was through a statement “we shall not wait for Karamoja to develop.” That was way back and I believe you heard that same phrase about the region. Sad part of it is somewhere someone is telling a school going child the same thing today and now.
Growing up, I always believed that this land only attracted her people and mineral exploiters until African Centre for Media Excellence decided to take us (media team) to Karamoja for a media field tour.
Karamoja sub region is close to Kenya. You have a bigger opportunity to cross to Kenya on foot via Turkana, by car, motorcycle or bike.
You can get to Karamoja by car as it gives you the pleasure of viewing and capturing moments yourself.
Leave alone the few Karimojong beggars you see on the streets of Kampala, those in Moroto are something else! They are welcoming but also suspicious of foreigners.
Many have those curious faces that you can clearly read the “who are you? And what do you want? Questions from their faces. Their looks are not because they are unfriendly, No! It is because they have been through a lot and have lost so much that all they need is piece of mind.
The Karimojong have gone through a lot but still have the energy to work as many survive on mining, pastoralism and agriculture.
They are used to living in manyattas though some are copying up with brick layed houses.
Wait! You need to know about their dress code. They are true lovers of chequered: The Elderly and the young simply change colors. Men cover their nakedness with checkered sheet and as for women and young girls; their materials are used to make skirts for them.
Girls are bread winners for their families. They hunt for food for their siblings as parents work in distant fields as miners and farmers. The responsibility is something for you to admire.
You can also satisfy yourself with mountain Moroto trekking. Imagine the unusual feeling you would win yourself camping in Nakabat village. I was told wild animals like buffalos pay visits during the night and only attack dark places so while you camp, keep the fire place blazing.
Castle anthills are there scattered both on your way and inside Moroto and her villages.
I know you have heard of gold, lime stone, oil and other minerals but Karamoja hosts St Lawrence waterfalls too! The water from this waterfall flows and feeds animals, plants and its people.
For geographical field tours, schools should embrace the idea of visiting Karamoja because many of the physical features taught in schools start from Soroti and it is true what Arabs say: He who lives sees much. He who travels sees more.
Uganda must be proud of her youngest ‘daughter’ Karamoja!