Karamoja gets Shs139billion nutrition project, GENTU

Principal Nutritionist at the Ministry of Health, Grace Ochieng says that GENTU is a key catalyst to development.

Summary:

  • 139 billion Shillings nutrition project has been launched in the Karamoja sub-region.

A 139 billion Shillings nutrition project has been launched in the Karamoja sub-region.

The project dubbed ‘’Gender Equitable Nutrition in Tanzania and Uganda (GENTU) will be implemented by Action Against Hunger in partnership with Karamoja Women’s Umbrella Organization. It will cover the districts of Nakapiripirit, Moroto, and Nabilatuk.

The project is funded by ​the World Food Programme-WFP, Sida Humanitarian, EUTF RISE, Swedish Embassy Resilience, Alborada Trust, the German government, the Netherlands Government, the French government, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees USAID and Save the Children.

It aims at improving nutrition for the poorest and most marginalized, especially women, adolescent girls, and children.

Ritah Kabamyoro, the Action Against Hunger Country Director emphasized the need to strengthen the provision of quality gender-equitable integrated nutrition and health services, particularly for the most marginalized.

Kabamyoro said that they intend to work with community leaders to address the gender norms and practices that promote malnutrition in the households.  She said that they will be strengthening the aspect of food security through Climate Smart Agriculture to tackle the challenges of harsh weather conditions in the region.

Kabamyoro also said that it is possible to eliminate hunger and they are currently carrying out a pilot food security program in Napak district and the focus is to eliminate hunger that has lasted for decades in the sub-region.

Grace Ochieng, the Principal Nutritionist at the Ministry of Health urged the partners to consider working together with the district nutritionists in the health facilities.

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She also noted the health ministry is currently struggling to streamline the partners who are bringing in ready-packed food and moving in an uncoordinated manner.

Cornelius Lomuria, the LCV Vice Chairperson for Nabilatuk said that the people of Karamoja have always committed themselves to cultivating crops despite the natural calamities caused by climate change.

He noted that the people would be able to cultivate their food but the challenge has always been the rampant selling of food to buy alcohol.

He warned the partners against working in isolation but rather engage the community leadership for better results and project ownership.

Mark Aol Musoka, an Elder in Rupa Sub County Moroto district urged the partners to set up farmlands in schools to nurture the learners and engage them in agriculture so that they practice from home after the vacation.

Zakary Lokodo, a community-based facilitator for Nutrition in Nabilatuk field office noted that the project is handling areas of nutrition by having an aspect of a care group where mothers come together and select one lead mother who will be responsible for monitoring nutritional status at the household level.

Lokodo said that the mothers will be playing the role of mindset change and teaching other women ways of fighting nutrition in their homes.

He added that they are also focusing on how to improve food security by engaging the community to produce their food instead of relying on handouts.

In Karamoja, many households face seasonal food shortages or continuous scarcities that contribute to acute malnutrition and stunting and high rates of adolescent pregnancy, driven by unmet Sexual Reproductive health needs which are in turn linked to poor nutritional outcomes for newborns.

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