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Hailstorms destroy more than 1000 acres of food crops in Nwoya District

NWOYA – At least more than 1000 acres of food crops have been destroyed by heavy hailstorms that rained for hours in Nwoya district.

The hailstorms that was accompanied by heavy rainfall from between 5:00pm to around 7:00 pm on Saturday, last week left several acres of food crops including maize, sesame, beans and soy beans among others in Orum Goro village in Lii sub-county and Te Got sub-ward in Koch Goma Town Council.

Justin Ajaji, the LCIII Chairperson of Lii sub-county says, Orum Goro village in Goro parish is the most affected area. The hail storms also rained in Te Got Sub ward in Koch Goma Town Council leaving trails of destruction.

Ajaji says that at least 300 households have been left without hopes of any meaningful harvest after their crops were destroyed.

“I have never seen any hailstorm that has rained to this extent. The people are currently helpless without any hope of harvesting from their gardens because they have nothing to harvest,” Ajaji said.

“When we went to see the extent of destruction on Saturday morning, we found huge blocks of hail stones still melting,” Ajaji narrates.

Solomon Oyat Oketta, a resident of Te Got Sub ward in Koch Goma town council says he lost three acres of beans and maize to the hail storms which rained overnight.

“I am not sure how I am going to feed my family and take care of my other needs because I was hoping to raise money and food from my field,” Oketta wondered.

Goreti Alum who lost 10 acres of food crops including maize and soybeans says, she did not only lose crops but also lost 4 goats and 10 chickens to the natural disaster.

Alum, 56, is now appealing to the district and government to come to their rescue with relief support.

“I hope the government will come to our rescue because I have lost everything. I had hopes to support my family with finances and also food security,” Alum says.

According to Alum, she invested Shs 5 million in her 10-acre piece of land to clear, plant and weed the crops.

Joska Ajok, another farmer who lost 14 acres of food crops says that the hail storms accompanied by strong winds and heavy rains also destroyed the roofs of two of her houses. She says her three children who were sleeping in one of the houses have been forced to share shelter with her neighbours.

“My kitchen and house where my children sleep have all been destroyed by strong winds. We don’t have where what to cook, because the food stock we had were also washed away by the heavy rains. My children are currently sleeping at a neighbor’s house,” Ajok narrates.

Ajok appeals to the district and government to rescue her and other people whose houses, food crops and food have been destroyed by the heavy hail storms and rains.

Emmanuel Orach, the LCV Chairperson Nwoya district says, they are currently registering the affected households to ascertain the level of destruction by the natural disaster which left several people homeless.

According to Orach, this is the worst  hailstorm ever that has rained in the district, which has faced several challenges including elephant invasion, foot and mouth disease among others.

Several districts in Acholi sub-region including Gulu, Amuru and Omoro have recently faced the wrath of hailstorms leaving thousands of acres and hundreds of households helpless.

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