Moroto- Food aid has reduced by more than 80 per cent in the Karamoja sub-region, according to data from the Department of Relief, Disaster and Refugees.

Speaking during the closure of a five day Basic Enterprise Start-up Tool training in Moroto District, Dr Robert Lim Lim, the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (Nusaf III) director, said many employment opportunities have been created thus boosting the incomes of residents in the sub-region.

“The move to engage people of Karamoja into income generating activities has reduced the demand for food aid by 80 per cent,” Dr Lim Lim said, adding that the Disaster Risk Financing project, which has been running for the last two years has drafted youth into income generating activities such as construction, farming and carpentry, among others, which has promoted self-reliance in the region.

“Projects such as road and dams construction benefit more than 400 households. They earn about Shs5,500 per day, which makes youth access sustainable income,” he said.

The training, which seeks to equip Nusaf III beneficiaries with necessary skills to start and manage enterprises sustainably, was organised by Enterprise Uganda.

Income improvement, according to Dr Lim Lim, has also helped people in the region to improve their saving culture, which has grown to about 30 per cent.

Mr Charles Ocici, the Enterprise Uganda executive director, tasked the leadership in Karamoja region to continuously engage the locals with a view making a meaningful economic transformational as well as ensuring involvement of residents.

Karamoja is the least developed region in Uganda with 61 per cent of the population categorised as income poor.

Youth support

More than 10,000 youth in the Karamoja sub-region have been trained under the Nusaf III programme. 30,000 beneficiaries will undergo similar training in the next three years, a move that seeks to ensure that government poverty alleviation funds are put to good use.

The Basic Enterprise Start-up Tool training supports entrepreneurs that show preferential interest in running group businesses such as agro-processing, poultry and livestock farming among others.