Increased food insecurity in greater northern Uganda following poor harvests
In greater northern Uganda, more poor households are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes currently than in July due to below-average March-June rainfall that resulted in poor crop production and yield losses. Also, arealevel Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist in urban areas. However, the situation has generally improved since July with the partial re-opening of the economy leading to relatively improved income sources and access to food. However, economic impacts of the past and current COVID-19 restrictions continue to limit household income sources. Overall, poor rural households continue to earn below-normal income from their typical income sources, including crop, livestock, and livestock product sales, which has limited their access to essential food and non-food commodities.
In bimodal areas, unevenly distributed early rainfall from late July into early August has prompted ploughing and early planting, although rainfall was insufficient to offset the rainfall deficits and abnormal dryness during the first season over areas mostly in northern Uganda. However, localized heavy rainfall resulted in repeat floods in Kasese district and rising water levels of Lakes Albert and Kyoga in Amolatar, Nakasongola, and Buliisa districts where about 4,200 people have been displaced.
A revised forecast for Karamoja indicates light to moderate rainfall that is near average is most likely through the end of April to September rainfall season. Total cumulative rainfall is most likely to conclude at below-average totals, and late season rainfall is unlikely to alleviate the impact of earlier dry spells or significant change to below-average crop production prospects. Significantly delayed and below-normal harvests are expected in September and will temporarily alleviate food consumption gaps for some households.
However, for the majority of households, harvests won’t make up enough of their total food and income sources to cover Crisis gaps. Additionally, below-average incomes and below-average terms of trade will limit food access. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to prevail through January 2022.
Movement restrictions due to COVID-19 continue to limit access to food and income sources (other than humanitarian sources) among refugees. This population will likely face difficulty practicing their normal livelihoods following the protracted COVID-19 movement restrictions. For instance, many will struggle to access seeds for the second season due to constrained income. Crop harvests from first season resulted in minimal improvement in food availability. Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes are expected to continue through January given the anticipated second season harvests in November/December.