NEBBI. The minister of state for agriculture, Mr Henry Aggrey Bagiire has attacked local leaders in West Nile for doing little in sensitizing the members of the community on the fight against malnutrition in children and anaemia in mothers.

While addressing the residents of Oweko village at Oweko primary school grounds in Nebbi district on Tuesday, Bagiire said he is so disappointed of leaders who are not doing much in fighting malnutrition and anaemia in the region.

He said according to the Uganda Bureau of Standards report of 2016, 40 per cent of children in West Nile are stunted thus making the region with the highest rate of malnutrition and anaemia in the country even worse than Karamoja.

“I remember those days all the bright, powerful and strong people were from the West Nile region but what has really happened if our children are now stunted and malnourished?” Bagiire asked.

He said the problem doesn’t require the government to spend billions to have it solved since the food needed for growth comes from the communities.

Bagiire, however, observed that because of the poor eating habit of only relying on cassava, the government has now decided to come up with the multi-sectoral food security project to arrest the situation.

He said the project is currently doing well in Nebbi district and that it has improved many lives.

The minister pledged to construct at least two dams for irrigation in Nebbi to support vegetable growing especially during the dry spell.

“I encourage the young ones to also embrace the project so that its sustainability doesn’t become a problem,” Mr Julius Tamasiko, the national coordinator for Uganda multi-sectorial food project appealed.

Meanwhile, Ms Bonifillia OKetch, the in-charge of Oweko health centre II said the Uganda multi-sectoral food security project has led to an improvement in nutrition.

As a result, she said in the past three months, they have not received any case of malnutrition and anaemia at the health facility.

“Those days we used to receive like 10 - 15 cases of malnutrition monthly but since the initiation of this project, the cases have totally reduced to one and at times zero,” she said.

Oketch also noted that there has been an improvement in antenatal attendance.

She attributed the positive changes to the continued sensitisation meetings in the community.