The slow pace in the distribution of food relief to vulnerable and already hungry people in Kampala and Wakiso districts during the current quarantine is a vivid sign of the government’s lack of contingency measures to address sudden food supply shocks in the country.
Agnes Kirabo, the executive director Food Rights Alliance, a civil society organisation, says the Covid19 crisis is an eye-opener that the Uganda government has never had proper food mobilisation and distribution structures.Kirabo notes that government has in the past only focused at food distribution to refugees and never envisaged a situation that it would be a face more complex challenges of having to give its own people relief food.
Kirabo, a food rights activist re-echoed the complaint raised by many regarding the privatisation of national food reserves, saying that such a move threatens the country’s food security and the entire economy.
“We sold off our national food reserves, these not only play a role during such situations, but they also help during situation of economic hardship. But all we are seeing across the country are people demanding food. This situation came about because the food system was captured, the food system was left to a none existing private sector, the food system was forgotten,” says Kirabo.
Referring to biblical teachings, Kirabo urged governments ti reserve food for its population in preparation for unforeseen circumstances like drought.
The comments comes after several Ugandans both in rural and urban areas have passionately expressed urgent demand for food to survive during the Covid19 lock-down.