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YUMBE. At least 32,160 persons affected by hailstorm in Yumbe district in September are asking for support from government as there is nothing to sustain their livelihood.

YUMBE. At least 32,160 persons affected by hailstorm in Yumbe district in September are asking for support from government as there is nothing to sustain their livelihood.

The affected households are struggling to recover from the impact of the hailstorm.

Many families affected by the hailstorm have resorted to looking for different avenues to look for money to buy food for the family and the number of meals each family takes have now reduced to once a day.

According to Ms Betty Ajiko, a resident of Yiba cell in Lodonga Town Council, the hailstorm destroyed every thing and there is nothing left for them to survive on.

"There is no other option for us to get money to buy food but we now depend on firewood and charcoal. We collect fire wood and burn charcoal which fetch for us money to buy food items in the market", she said.

"We used to eat four times a day but this time we eat once a day which is affecting our nutrition status. We are worried that the current situation may result into increase of theft cases in the area since sustainability of livelihood has become a problem.

She said, they used to sell the crops that they grow to pay school fees for their children but since the government has planned to reopen schools in January, it's going to be hard for the children to return to school.

Ms Jamila Ayikoru, a resident of Lodonga sub county said they have resorted to doing mannual labour with the children to make ends meet.

"We go very far in places where the hailstorm didn't reach to look for casual labour especially weeding groundnuts with the children for money and in turn use the money to buy food in the market", she said.

She added: "We have finished selling off our clothes and other properties to buy food and if the casual labour we are depending on now is finished, we shall be no more but there is need for government to support us".

Mr Ismail Azubu, a model farmer in Lodonga sub county and a father of 17 said taking care of his big family has already become a challenge.

He said when the hailstorm destroyed every thing, everybody in the family were in tears but they didn't take it to be the end of life.

"As a family head, I advised my family members not to continue lamenting but instead do something for our survival. I went with my wife in the bush and started cultivating in the valley where we planted maize, ockra and other short maturing crops because waiting for support from government and other agencies takes time", he said

However, following the demands of the hailstorm victims for the need of any assistance, DanChurchAid (DCA), a non governmental organisation operating in Bidibidi refugee settlement has intervened to help the victims with assorted Agricultural inputs.

Items procured include, sorghum, watering jugs and assorted vegetable seeds like cabbages, cowpeas, tomatoes, ockra, spider weeds and Amaranta species to the cost of Shs 80million with funding from European Union under Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) Lewa project.

AgriculturalP

Mr Nasur E'doni the project manager at DCA said the support was a kind of emergency to rescue the lives of the households that were seriously affected by the hailstorm.

He said, they combined with the district to do an assessment to get the hard-hit villages within the three sub counties to get the agricultural inputs.

"We know the hailstorm affected a big number of people in the district but due to limited resources, we have decided to support about 2,000 from the hard-hit villages in the sub counties of Lodonga, Drajini and Lodonga Town Council", he said.

He said, in the process of distributing the seeds, they are also giving the beneficiaries production skills on how to grow and care for the vegetable seeds.

Mr Tom Anguyo, the local council III Chairman for Lodonga Town Council cautioned the beneficiaries against selling the inputs.

He said when agricultural inputs are given out to farmers like that, they always tend to sell them off.