KOBOKO. Over 500 acres of crops have been destroyed by hail storm in Abuku sub county, Koboko district.

According to Mr Geofrey Drileyo, the Abuku sub county Agriculture officer, the storm that hit the sub county early this week destroyed property worth millions of shilling in nine villages of Gborokolongo and Onyokunga parishes.

He identified the worst hit villages as Mbili, Ilanga, Onyokunga, Gbolokolongo, Arumadri, Kuniro, Yamiro, Lurujo and parts of Ibanga.

Drileyo said extensive damage was done to people’s crops and property that include seven roof tops which were blown off in three villages of Mbili, Onyokunga and Arumadri.

He said others are the three groups of Northern Uganda social action fund (NUSAF3) that lost 32 acres of beans and cassava, and one borehole in Onyokunga village which was destroyed as a big tree that collapsed on it.

“More than 50 latrines have collapsed, some cattle, sheep and goats were killed by the storm and farmers in the nine villages lost hundreds of acres of cassava, beans, maize, sweet potatoes, bananas thus rendering the communities vulnerable to hunger as most crops were destroyed,” Drileyo added.

Mr Guma Twalib, the secretary of Arumadri B cassava and beans growing group said the hail storm destroyed all the beans and cassava they had planted on 10 acres piece of land.

"We had hope of improving on our livelihood through NUSAF 3 program but now with what the hail storm has done to us, the hope is no more," Mr Guma said.

He confirmed that out of shs17.8 million they received from NUSAF, they used 75% of the money for planting the beans and cassava while the balance was already budgeted for weeding and harvesting the crops, little did they know that the disaster will occur.

Mr Muzamil Abale walks in one of the destroyed beans fieldMr Muzamil Abale walks in one of the destroyed beans field in Gborokolongo Sub County.PHOTO BY JOSEPH ODAMA

Mr Muzamil Abale, a resident of Gbolokolongo parish said: "We had entrusted these farming projects as life changing ventures for the 12 group members but there is nothing much we can do because this is nature."

The affected people called upon Koboko district local government to urgently find out ways of rescuing them from hunger since all what they had hope in has been destroyed.

Ms Kalsum Amviko, another affected resident said she does not know what to do to her family of 11 people which used to depend on farm harvests of which the beans, cassava and maize they had planted have all been destroyed by the hail storm.

But Mr Simon Alonga, the Koboko district chairman for disaster management committee promised that the district is already coming up with mechanisms of how to respond to the emergency.

Meanwhile, the district production officer, Mr Stephen Onzima disclosed that they are going to divert seeds meant for other sub counties under operation wealth creation (OWC) to help the affected people of Abuku.

"It is sad! But our stand now is to recall some of the bean seeds that we had given to other sub counties to help the situation in Abuku," said Onzima.