Residents in Lotisan sub-county, Moroto district have been forced to relocate their goat sheds next to the army detachment for protection as cattle rustlers intensify their hunt for goats that were donated by President Yoweri Museveni.

Cattle rustlers have so far stolen more than 230 goats distributed by the government to reformed warriors in Lotisan sub-county, under the improved goat’s project implemented by the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs in Moroto district.

Each beneficiary received 16 goats consisting of 15 female Galla Goats and 1 male Boer.

The breed of goats that were supplied in Karamoja is strong with a reputation for surviving droughts thanks to its higher resistance to opportunistic diseases that eliminate ordinary goats.

The breed boasts a higher yield of milk, yet its meat is said to be succulent and much sought after for barbecue and spit roasting purposes.

Emmanuel Moru, whom our reporter found constructing a shed adjacent to the army detachment said the warriors have continued terrorizing them over the goats and they are now resorting to camp near security for their safety.

Moru said they tried keeping goats in the houses but the situation became worse when the raiders started breaking into their houses.

“We appreciate the project but it’s giving us sleepless nights, just yesterday, we got reports that the Jie raiders are planning to come and attack us, I’m struggling to build my shed but I don’t know what will happen next night,” Moru narrated.

John Robert Adupa, the LCIII chairperson Lotisan sub-county said he advised the community to establish sheds near the army detachment in Mogoth Parish following the outcry from the locals about the continuous attacks.

Adupa said that the locals have tried to protect the goats but they are defeated and the only hope is to have protected kraals.

He noted that the warriors are hunting for the Galla goats which are well adapted to Semi-Arid Lands and thrive well where other goat breeds do not.

“These goats are in high demand, it’s the reason you see warriors struggling for them because they know after raiding there is a ready market,’’ Adupa said.

Betty Akol Nachap, the Chairperson of Napak Women Peace Forum said that despite losing goats to the warriors, some are dying because of the bad weather in the region.

Nachap suggested that the government provides local breed goats in order to minimize the losses.

“I doubt whether we shall really prosper in this project, the raiders are giving us hard times while the goats are also dying, the government should redesign this project’’ she said.

However, Esther Anyakun, the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness noted restocking Karamojong amidst the insecurity was a mistake.

Anyakun observed that the goats distributed to the former raiders are putting people’s lives at risk and asked the government to consider workable projects rather than wasting resources on unproductive programs.

“Insecurity, lack of pasture and water, are the major factors to fail the goat’s project and we shall not accept the government to continue bringing projects which are not workable in Karamoja’’ she said, adding that she was engaging the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to design the best projects which fit the region and cost less to the community for maintenance.

The project seeks to distribute 71,550 goats to beneficiaries from the nine districts in the region.

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