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In Karamoja, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected through December

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Uganda
  • July - December 2014
In Karamoja, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected through December

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  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Areas of Concern
  • Events That Might Change the Outlook
  • Key Messages
    • In Karamoja, the September/October harvest is expected to only be 20 to 30 percent of average. There will be minimal green consumption this year, and households will not see the usual post-harvest increase in food access. Despite adequate availability of staple food on the market at stable prices, households’ constrained income means they have limited ability to purchase food. Eastern parts of the region are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December.
    • In June, a temporary ban of undetermined length on livestock export or trekking out of Karamoja region was instituted due to the foot and mouth outbreak that started in May. The ban has closed livestock markets in the region. Restricted livestock sales within the region prevent households from earning income to purchase food.
    • In Karamoja, incomes are below average as more households supply charcoal, firewood, and unskilled labor to markets without additional demand, leading to declining returns on these income-earning activities. Livestock to sorghum Terms of Trade (ToT) are expected to continue to decline due to low livestock prices through December. Households will continue to have limited income through at least December.

    National Overview
    Current Situation

    The first season rains have finished in bimodal areas. Harvesting has almost completed and farmers are beginning their preparations for the second season starting in mid-August. Typically July has a short dry spell as the first season rains end. However, the southwestern area has received only light, occasional rain for the entire period from May to July so the area is slightly drier than normal. 

    Drier than normal conditions are conducive for harvesting and postharvest activities. July is the second month of harvest when most field collections for the staples are completed. Beans, soybeans, maize, millet, sorghum, rice, sunflower, groundnuts, sesame, and citrus fruits are being harvested from the central, south, and southwestern production zones.

    Average harvests expected from the bimodal first season; Both household and market food stocks are being replenished, contributing to the price stability and staple availability nationwide. Prices for the month of June declined seasonally. As supplies are coming on to the market traders are buying while prices are low and also trying to sell off last year’s stocks causing some localized price volatility.

    Below average pasture conditions in the cattle corridor districts of western Uganda. Below average rainfall since June has caused a decline in pasture conditions in the southwestern districts of Kiruhura, Mbarara, Lyantonde, Sembabule, and Bukomasimbi. Water resources, though less than usual, are available to meet the short term needs for livestock production.

    Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity expected in bimodal areas; Households and market food stocks have been replenished by the first season harvests. Trade will enable commodities to flow from surplus to deficit southwest areas of the country where harvests were slightly below average due to below average rains earlier in the season. Poor households depending on the market to meet their food needs are able to do so through the normal livelihoods activities at this time like crops sales, casual labor in harvest and posthandling activities, fishing, and petty trade.

    Unimodal area crop development is delayed and minimal green harvests are expected. Due to the below-average, erratic rainfall, and periodic dry spells since May, crop development is delayed by two or more months. Farmers either planted late or replanted after their crops failed. Crops across the region are at varying stages of growth from near flowering to maturation. Households typically access green harvests in July. At this time crops in the central sorghum and livestock zone are still in the vegetative and flowering stage.

    Below-average harvest expected in September/October for the Karamoja region; Crops have reached the flowering stage for those farmers whose crops recovered from the dry spell in April/May. The current rainfall levels will not support normal development during the grain filling stage for the latest planted crops. 

    Household income and food sources are limited this season in the Karamoja region. Below average rainfall has lead to less cropped areas than normal. This has reduced the seasonal agricultural labor opportunities for poor households and resulted in less than usual wild food availability. The oversupply of labor and limited demand has depressed wages. The increased firewood and charcoal sales by households trying to supplement their income has resulted in oversupply of the commodities, causing prices to decline.

    The temporary ban on livestock movement due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in May has disrupted livestock markets in Karamoja region and has reduced the households’ supplementary incomes from a normal year. Cattle markets in Amudat, Kaabong, Nakapiripirit, and Kotido have been partially closed to traders transporting livestock out of the Karamoja region. Cattle held in Soroti and Ngora districts meant for the northern Uganda livestock restocking program are thought to be the origin of the contagious disease became spread. The quarantine is also affecting the districts in Teso, West Nile, Acholi, and Lango sub-regions. There have been a few reports of some livestock deaths in Kaabong, but these have not been officially confirmed.  

    At least 20 percent of the households in Karamoja region are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The lean season started one to two months earlier than normal, and has extended further due to the delayed and limited green harvest. Given the lengthy lean season, households are looking for ways to cope with their limited income and food resources. Households have limited purchasing power due to their reduced incomes from agriculture labor, crop and animal sales. Additionally households have no food stocks and minimal wild food availability, and therefore must purchase from the market. The moderately food insecure households previously in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) have transitioned into Crisis. A detailed analysis is given under the areas of concern section.


    Between July and December 2014, the projected food security outcomes are based on the following key assumptions:

    • Near average seasonal harvests are expected in bimodal areas from the first agricultural season from June to August. These harvests also ensure market supply of maize and other staples at the national level and will supply regional exports of maize, beans, and millet destined for Rwanda, South Sudan, and Kenya.
    • Prices for most staple foods will decline seasonally following the bimodal first season harvests in July/August and will follow seasonal trends through October.
    • Normal household income through seasonal activities in bimodal areas is likely. Earning potential is expected to be normal and allow for seasonally average access to food and nonfood needs.
    • Pasture conditions in the cattle corridor districts will likely be below average through August and September before the second season rains in bimodal areas. Currently, drier than average conditions are expected to significantly reduce pasture and water resources in more densely populated cattle keeping areas and lead to slightly below average body conditions.
    • Trading activities within Uganda, as well as cross-border trade with neighboring countries, are expected to behave normally with high levels of demand from neighboring countries, including Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Rwanda. No policy interventions preventing the free movement of food commodities from surplus to deficit production areas are anticipated.
    • Refugees will continue to move to the southwestern and northern districts of Uganda as civil insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan will likely continue at current or worse levels.  The influx of refugees is not expected to interrupt staple prices or labor opportunities.
    • The vaccination and quarantine measures are anticipated to sufficiently control the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the northeastern districts. The ban will likely be lifted when no new cases occur.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Near average harvests from the first season in bimodal areas are expected to provide two to three months of food stocks through November. Staple prices are anticipated to continue in their seasonal post-harvest decline through August. Poor and very poor households will remain in None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through December with the anticipated average seasonal incomes. Poor and very poor households will earn at least average wages through typical livelihoods activities, including fishing, petty trade, and casual agriculture labor. Incomes from crop sales are expected to be normal from August to September in most of the bimodal areas except in the southwestern districts where harvest are likely to be slightly below average. Normal seasonal activities in preparation for the second agricultural season are expected to begin mid-August, providing ample seasonal employment for casual laborers. Wages are expected to be normal in exchange for labor through November for activities such as ploughing, planting, and weeding. Slightly below average livestock body conditions and below average milk production are anticipated as pasture and water resources decline with below average rainfall during August and September. However, pasture and water resources are expected to improve with the start of second season rains in October. Households in bimodal zones are expected to depend on their own food stocks with minimal market purchases until the next green harvest in November and dry harvest in December onwards.

    The Karamoja region is likely to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as the highest classification of food insecurity through December. The harvests, which typically start in July, will be delayed until September/October. As the harvests are likely to be well below average, minimal green harvesting will occur and the dry harvest will not be sufficient enough to increase household consumption, prolonging the lean season. Poor households are anticipated to have limited purchasing power to access food from the market due to below average seasonal incomes. Though prices of staples are expected to remain stable or at most increase by 10 percent, households will continue to have less than adequate food consumption. Coping strategies at their disposal are not expected to provide the single meal a day on a consistent basis through December. More details on Karamoja are discussed in the area of concern sections below.

    Areas of Concern

    Central Sorghum and Livestock livelihood zone in Karamoja

    This zone includes parts of Northern Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Kotido, Napak, and Kaabong Districts with an estimated population of 824,104 persons. About 54 percent of the households are estimated to be in the poor wealth group.

    Current Situation

    The zone is experiencing below-average and erratic rainfall.  The months of June/July are typically a dry spell, but overall rainfall from the start of season in March/April has been below average. Kotido district has received above average total rainfall.

    Pasture conditions in the eastern areas of Moroto and Kaabong districts are below average to average due to the poor rainfall. Water availability for livestock is less than usual for this period. Livestock are in average to above average body condition despite the severe rangeland dryness in April/May. Milk production has been average. The sheep and goats continue to thrive and are conceiving and giving birth at normal rates.

    Typical seasonal activities at this time have been disrupted by the rainfall deficits earlier in the season. The surviving crops (about 20-30 percent of the normal crop area) are mostly at the vegetative stage. With the resumption of rains in May/June, some farmers planted at that time, and others replanted their fields. This is atypical of the farmers to have planted at this time because they risk the usual short dry spell in June/July arriving at a time that will limit germination potential and the yield.

    Labor opportunities are lower than in a typical year. The reduced planted area caused by below average rains earlier in the season resulted in a reduction in the quantity of labor opportunities like weeding and harvesting. Additionally, more households are looking for labor to supplement their income. Wages for agricultural labor in June compared to May are stable though supply is much greater than the demand.

    Terms of Trade (ToT) for firewood, daily wage, goats, and sheep, with respect to sorghum declined since May. Prices of goats declined in Kaabong and Moroto likely due to an additional supply of goats and sheep from western Kenya’s Turkana region. The ToT for charcoal, firewood, and labor with respect to sorghum were stable in Kotido and Napak but increased dramatically in Nakapiripirit from May to June. Increased supplies of sorghum, maize, and beans from the bimodal regions are keeping prices stable. Sorghum prices increased in Moroto though they were stable in other districts of Karamoja. The ban on livestock movement due to foot and mouth disease is limiting livestock sales. Constrained supply should typically increase livestock prices so it is unclear why prices have fallen during this period. The impact of the ban will become clearer in the coming months.

    Current levels of humanitarian assistance are not meeting the needs of the vulnerable households. While the third cycle of food distribution has been provided to the extremely vulnerable households, available safety net program through the Maternal Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN), school feeding, Community Based Supplementary Feeding program (CBSFP) and FFW/CFW are not adequate to increase household food consumption and nutritional status. No additional households affected by the food security situation have been added to the population assisted.

    Some household members are engaging in migratory labor to nearby town centers to carry out domestic chores like fetching water. Normally migration occurs from March to May for the agricultural season, but households are seeking additional casual labor opportunities to supplement their income for food purchase. Incomes from this source are low due to limited demand for workers.

    The prolonged lean season and inadequate food sources has limited households’ food consumption. Households have been following the lean season diet of one meal a day since February. Normally the lean season ends in July with the arrival of green harvest from own production. Delayed crop development, crop failure, and late planting in June are all contributing to the prolonged lean season. Currently, households mostly depend on the market as a source of food. Households are intensifying their supplementary livelihood activities producing sorghum beer and consuming the beer residuals and harvesting wild foods. Wild food harvests have been less than adequate compared to a normal year due to below average rains.

    Wild food collection typically ends in June with the green harvest, but poor households continue to gather whatever edible vegetables they can find. Consumption is still inadequate even with the coping strategy use. Currently, food expenditure accounts for over 70 percent of the household budget, compared to 30-36 percent in a normal year. The food security and nutrition assessment in the Karamoja region in June by the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report highlighted that more than 10 percent of the households previously with acceptable food consumption have now borderline or poor food consumption compared to February 2014. These households are consuming less food in their single meal per day than previously. Some adults from these households are likely going without any meals a day, allowing the children to eat. Some households, including children, in Kaabong, Napak, Nakapiripirit, and Moroto districts are going an entire day without eating.

    Malnutrition rates are above 10 percent according to the food security and nutrition assessment by WFP and UNICEF in June. Increased Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates during this lean season have been observed in all districts of Karamoja compared to February 2014. This is largely because this lean season comes after two consecutive years of below average production, and started one to two months earlier than normal. Historically, GAM rates reach their highest point just before the lean season ends in June. This year there has been no green consumption to end the lean season, and further the harvest expected in November/December is unlikely to change food access. Apart from Abim with Poor, five to ten percent GAM, the six other districts have Serious GAM levels. Moroto and Nakapiripirit are the highest in the region.

    Despite stressed livelihood strategies, no livelihoods change had occurred. The ban on livestock movement due the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Karamoja and surrounding districts has led households to increase firewood and charcoal production, an environment degrading strategy. The distance to firewood collection locations are on average of over seven km, and increasing yearly. Some households have resorted to dismantling the homestead fencing to extract firewood to sell.

    At least 20 percent of the households are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs with continued erosion of livelihoods through stressed sales of livestock until the quarantine began in June. If livestock markets were functioning households would likely continue in this manner, but for now they are not able to access food in their typical coping strategy. The area is classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3).


    In addition to the national assumptions listed above, the most likely scenario in Central Sorghum and Livestock livelihood zone in Karamoja for July to December 2014 is based on the following additional assumptions:

    • The forecast rainfall for July to September is normal to below normal. It is unlikely to be sufficient for the full maturation of the crops in the region.
    • The lean season will likely continue through December. Normally the lean season ends in July, with green consumption, but no green harvest will occur this season. The final dry harvest will likely occur in November/December, but is expected to be 20-30 percent, well-below average.
    • Normal livestock conception rates will occur in August to October to ensure cattle herd size build up with the average to below average rainfall forecasted during the July/August period to sustain pasture and water availability. 
    • Average levels of milk production expected during the peak milking period July to November. During this period human consumption is likely to be normal and decline seasonably starting December. This rainfall will be sufficient for adequate pasture to keep livestock in average body condition.
    • Incomes from casual labor opportunities are expected to be unseasonably low from July to October for activities as weeding and harvesting due to the impacts of the April/May dry conditions that delayed crop development, reduced planted area and increased supply of labor.
    • From July to December an abnormally high number of households will be engaged in charcoal/firewood sales to obtain income to purchase food since the lean season is likely to be extended into October before any harvests. This is likely to keep firewood and charcoal prices low.
    • Wild food availability is expected to be normal during the November/December period. Households will likely collect these to supplement their diets.
    • Supplemental incomes from grass sales will resume in September and continue to December at slightly below normal levels. House construction and renovation activities resume though with less intensity than usual in this period. Income from grass sales will likely be reduced due to oversupply of grass and limited demand.
    • Some minimal honey harvesting will occur from September to November, although at lower levels than the main season in March/April.
    • Poor households will engage in pole cutting and brick making as usual in November and December.
    • Normal trading activities for staples are expected to occur uninterrupted from the surplus districts around Karamoja. It is likely that Karamoja markets will continue to be supplied sufficiently.
    • Livestock trade will continue to be disrupted due to the outbreak and quarantine from foot and mouth disease. The vaccination campaign and livestock movement ban are expected to contain the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Households will only be able to sell their livestock within the Karamoja region until that point, thus will likely obtain less income for food purchase.
    • Normal interannual humanitarian assistance is on-going in the Karamoja region. Vulnerable households will continue receiving 50% of the daily caloric requirement. No additional plans have been made for assisting households who are transitioning from moderately food insecure to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) at this time.
    • Sorghum prices are projected to decrease slightly by September, but are likely to remain stable thereafter as markets in Karamoja will be supplied by Mbale and Soroti districts that had average harvests in the March to June season.
    • Cash-for-work/food-for-work through the NUSAF 2 program is expected to reach fewer households than usual due to limited funding.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    During the July to December scenario period, poor households will be unable to meet their food needs and nonfood expenditures. The lean season began early, in February, and will likely continue until dry harvesting in December, an additional six months of limited food consumption for households. Due to delayed crop development, late planting and the likelihood of average to below average rainfall in the coming months, green harvest will be minimal. Households will likely continue consuming their lean season diet of one meal a day. The dry harvest, expected in December, will not likely replenish household food stocks enough to change the consumption pattern significantly.

    The poor harvest prospects and reduced cropped areas have limited the agricultural labor opportunities this season. Poor households will not likely participate in the harvest from September to December, reducing the household income. To compensate, households will likely continue to engage in the sale of firewood, thatching grass, and charcoal at intense levels through December. Markets will likely continue to be oversupplied and prices will remain low. Firewood collection and sales overuse as a livelihood strategy is causing households to search further distances every year from the homesteads for collection. Some households are opting to extract firewood from the traditional thick fencing around the homesteads as an alternative. Household members are likely to migrate unusually in search of casual labor opportunities in nearby towns, but wages are likely to be below average. Households typically employ this strategy earlier in the lean season from March to May for agricultural labor. Some individuals will migrate to be involved in rudimentary mining of gold for supplementary incomes from July to December, depending on security in the mining areas.

    The lean season usually ends in July with green harvests. Households are typically able to consume at least two meals a day at this time. However, currently the crops have not matured enough to be picked green. Additionally, household income sources are lower than usual, and wild food sources are still limited.  All available food sources combined will still likely fall short of meeting the caloric needs for both the adults and the children. The households are likely still following their lean season consumption pattern- eating once a day, and adults are likely skipping that meal on some days. Inadequate food intake and frequency of meals are likely to spread to more households. Though consumed in limited quantities in a normal year, there is likely going to be a substantial loss of food groups in their diet. Households usually have income from crop sales and labor at this time to purchase milk, eggs, sugar, meat, tubers, peanuts (groundnuts) and other pulses. The daily calorie intake will likely be well below the requirement. Wild foods will likely be available again in October, households will likely consume higher than usual quantities from October to December.

    Children usually are kept at home during the harvest season to work, but the schools are offering a full meal through the WFP School Feeding Program. Households are sending their children to school. Malnutrition rates among children, although typically high due to the chronic nutrition problems of the region, will likely be elevated further due to the decreased caloric intake and limited diet during this period.

    Normally some households would sell a goat or sheep to sustain their food consumption for a month or more, but the current foot and mouth disease quarantine of livestock movement is limiting that option. When the livestock movement ban is lifted, households may begin more detrimental coping strategies like selling productive assets, rendering them unable to maintain their livestock herd size and other livelihood activities.

    At least 20 percent of the households are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) throughout the scenario period.  Household food consumption is inadequate and much lower than in a typical year. There has been a decrease in the number of food groups eaten from, and the typical additional livelihoods and coping strategies are not sufficient for their needs. Malnutrition rates in children and pregnant and lactating mothers are expected to decline further throughout the scenario period.

    Western mixed crop farming livelihood zone in Karamoja

    This zone includes parts of western edge of the Karamoja region beginning with southwestern parts of Nakapiripirit, Napak, Abim and parts of Kotido and Kaabong Districts. It has an estimated population of 268,520 persons of which about 55 percent of the households are estimated to be in the poor wealth group.

    Current Situation

    The area has received above average rainfall recently. This is in contrast to the beginning of the season where below average rainfall characterized the months of March to May. The total for the season is above average although the timing for heavy rains came late and more intense than expected. The rain distribution this season has been atypical.

    Crop progress is delayed due to the below average rainfall in the early part of the season in April/May. Some replanting and first time planting of sorghum, maize, beans, sweet potatoes, and cassava occurred in May to July amidst the erratic rains. The lengthy dry spells during these months slowed down growth of the newly planted crops and grain filling in the others that had recovered from the April/May dryness. Cropping area is below average as below average rainfall at the beginning of the season and the uncertainty of the season caused farmers to plant less than usual – estimated at 30 to 40 percent of normal acreage.

    Above average pasture conditions are maintaining livestock in average to above average body conditions. Though rainfall has been erratic, pasture regrowth has been supported and water availability for both human and livestock consumption is sufficient. Milk production from both cattle and goats is average. The sheep and goats continue to thrive and are conceiving and giving birth at normal rates.

    Agricultural labor opportunities have been lower than average. This is because of reduced area under crop, delayed crop development, and late planting due to below average rains earlier in the season coupled with the willingness for more households to supply labor. Wages have been depressed due to excess supply and limited demand.

    Below average incomes from labor prompted households to slightly increase the intensity of firewood collection and sale of charcoal, and local beer brewing compared to a normal year.

    Farmers have had some green consumption although production is 65-70 percent below average. Though late in arrival and below usual quantities, maize, beans, cowpeas and mainly cassava have been harvested thus increasing food availability and ending the lengthy lean season. Consumption from own production contributes 23-40 percent of the diet in a normal year.

    Supplementary food/income sources for poor households are less available than usual. While sale of poultry is ongoing at normal levels, sale of the cattle, goats, and sheep is restricted due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. A ban on livestock movement has been imposed in the districts of Abim, Napak, Nakapiripirit, and other districts surrounding Karamoja. This could potentially deny food access to households that may need to sell livestock to purchase staples. Market purchases for food are slightly higher at this time compared to a normal year when food from the market contributes 25-30 percent of the household budget. Some wild food gathering is going on although the availability of green vegetables is below average compared to a normal year due to the below average rainfall.

    The interannual humanitarian assistance is ongoing as planned; beneficiaries from extremely vulnerable households have received the third cycle of food distribution. With the lean season extending into July, which typically ends in June, this humanitarian assistance is improving food access.

    The zone is currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The food gap in this zone is estimated to be one month as the bulk of harvests will be in September/October. Household expenditure on food remains slightly higher than the 30-38 percent of the budget in a normal year. Overall households are minimally able to meet their minimum food requirements currently, but no destructive coping strategies are being used at this time.


    The most likely scenario in Western Mixed Crop Farming livelihood zone in Karamoja for July to December 2014 is based on the following assumptions:

    • Normal to below normal rainfall is expected from July to October and likely leading to below average harvests. The ongoing erratic and poorly distributed rainfall will likely maintain near average seasonal cumulative total.
    • Labor opportunities are expected to be less than a normal year and wages either in kind or in cash are likely to be slightly below average due to oversupply of labor and less demand.
    • The green harvest is expected to be delayed by a month or two due to slow crop development and late planting. Green harvest is expected to be below average.
    • Total harvests from the season are expected to be below average.
    • Income from sale of charcoal, firewood, and thatching grass are likely to be below average as more households supply the products.
    • The foot and mouth disease outbreak and the ban on livestock movement are expected to moderately affect livestock sales and thereby limit access to food.
    • Cash/Food-for-Work are expected to resume in July but less households than usual will be supported due to funding constraints
    • Sorghum prices are expected to decline by 10 percent through October. The ToT for small ruminants, agricultural wages, firewood, and charcoal with respect to sorghum are expected to slightly decline from their current levels.
    • The ban on livestock movement will likely limit the household’s income earning opportunities and ability to purchase food. Minimal livestock losses are expected following the massive vaccinations and quarantine imposed thereby protecting the herd size.
    • The school feeding program is likely to continue near its current level of providing one full meal of maize, beans, vegetable oil, salt for the children once a day through the scenario period.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    This year’s agricultural yield is likely to be below average, in the range of 30-40 percent of a normal year. Households normally begin harvesting the green crops in June. This year green consumption will be less than usual and delayed until August. The full end of the lean season will not occur until the crops mature fully in September/October. Below average rainfall forecasted for the August/September period will likely result in poor grain filling for cereals and in general delayed growth.

    Typically, farmers in July are able to grow some quick maturing crops like vegetables and beans to supplement the market purchases over the October to December period. This will not be possible with the below average rainfall, leaving poor households with a food gap of about a month. This predominantly agricultural zone will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

    Poor households will continue to engage in firewood, charcoal, and thatching grass sales at a slightly higher intensity than a typical year, through September. Agricultural labor opportunities for the households from July to November are expected to be less available than usual due to less planted areas. Additionally more households will likely offer their labor, further reducing wages. Incomes earned will likely be below the average for this period. Wild food access will also be less than usual as a result of the below average rainfall throughout the period. Before the bulk of the harvests in October, most poor households will likely have at least a single meal per day; quantities consumed are likely to be less than usual and not able to meet the daily energy requirement of 2100 Kcal per person per day.

    Poor households are likely to be involved in migratory labor to Abim, Napak, Kotido, and Nakapiripirit town centers and surrounding trading centers while charcoal production/sales and wild food collections will be expanded by households. However, total food and income sources will remain below average for the season and will likely not replenish food stocks to last beyond December. The few households that own livestock will likely not be able to sell it due to the ban on livestock movement for the foot and mouth disease outbreak in June. Poultry sales will continue as normal. Poor households will slightly increase their food purchases from the market from November to December compared to a typical year.

    Events That Might Change the Outlook

    Table 1: Possible events over the next six months that could change the most-likely scenario.



    Impact on food security outcomes


    A break in WFP’s food or funding pipeline, or if food were to be diverted from supplying Karamoja to supplying South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda or other parts of East and Central Africa.

    Household food consumption would be seriously reduced in the vulnerable households. Areas benefitting from the school feeding programs would also see an increase in malnutrition among children and expectant and lactating mothers.


    Significantly below average seasonal rainfall


    Low rainfall would reduce the length of the growing period and reduce harvest yield, especially for long-cycle sorghum, expected harvest in September/October. Poor households would likely miss on labor opportunities from which they earn income to buy food


    Prolonged quarantine due to the foot and mouth contagious livestock disease outbreak


    It is hoped that with the vaccinations and control of livestock movement, livestock market functioning will be restored shortly. If new cases continue to emerge the ban lift would be delayed causing households to lose an income source.


    Humanitarian assistance program scaled up to meet the food needs of about 250,000 people that have transitioned into Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

    Significantly reduced food gaps, enabling beneficiaries to have more regular meals and an increased caloric consumption.


    Unanticipated sorghum demand from other areas of the country or the region


    Sorghum prices would likely rise much higher than currently anticipated. At higher sorghum prices, household would lean more heavily on substitutes for sorghum, and all staple food prices would likely rise, reducing food access, and limiting consumption.

    Refugees arriving from South Sudan

    Lack of funding to scale up humanitarian programs

    Humanitarian organizations would have to prioritize their assistance within the country. One solution, smaller food rations, would likely lead to use of additional household coping mechanisms in addition to the distress migration to Uganda that refugees have already done.


    Unexpected, unplanned local, or regional procurement of food assistance

    Unusually large and unexpected purchases in markets could lead to increasing food prices and reduce the purchasing power of households whose staple foods have higher prices.


    Figures Seasonal Calendar for Uganda

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for Uganda

    Source: FEWS NET

    Current food security outcomes, July 2014

    Figure 2

    Current food security outcomes, July 2014

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Vegetation anomalies for the ten day period 11th- 21st July

    Figure 3

    Figure 1. Vegetation anomalies for the ten day period 11th- 21st July

    Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)/FEWS NET

    Figure 2. Historical GAM rates in Karamoja in May 2010-June 2014

    Figure 4

    Figure 2. Historical GAM rates in Karamoja in May 2010-June 2014

    Source: WFP, UNICEF, School of Public Health

    Figure 3. Rainfall in millimeters (mm) in Abim District by 10 day period (dekad), 2014 and 2000 to 2012 mean

    Figure 5

    Figure 3. Rainfall in millimeters (mm) in Abim District by 10 day period (dekad), 2014 and 2000 to 2012 mean

    Source: .S. Geological Survey (USGS)/FEWS NET

    Figure 6


    To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

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