The recent floods in Moroto District, triggered by heavy rains on November 4, 2023, have not only claimed lives but also left villages grappling with intensified poverty and hunger. The Ko’matheniko River burst its banks during a six-hour downpour, affecting several villages in Lotisan Sub-County.
Tragically, a mother lost her six-month-old baby, and three of her sons are still missing after attempting to cross the fast-flowing Ko’matheniko River to reach their homes near Atedeoi Primary School. The raging waters destroyed fences, courtyards, and huts, sweeping away hard-earned sorghum harvests, leaving families without basic necessities.
The devastation also extended to village roads and bridges, hindering access for residents. Lotisan Sub-County chairperson, Robert Akiki Adupa, acknowledged the widespread impact, identifying five villages hit by the flash floods. He emphasized the worsening hunger situation in these villages, where families often go without meals for days.
Adupa urged the government to provide tarpaulins, as accessing materials for shelter has become increasingly difficult. He highlighted the vulnerability of children and women to climate change, emphasizing the toll it’s taking on the Karamoja sub-region.
Victims shared harrowing experiences, with an 80-year-old resident, William Sagal, recounting the sudden destruction of his home by swelling waters. Elderly woman Laurien Nakut expressed helplessness after losing all belongings to the floods, exacerbating the existing food shortages.
Moroto Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Justine Tuko, pointed out that the rains coincided with a time when many families had already missed out on harvests due to previous crop failures and animal losses. He emphasized the increased threat to life and infrastructure in the region and urged residents not to risk crossing flooded rivers.