Some people said that 1,000 people were dying in the IDP camps per day in northern Uganda? For about 10 years? This works out as 1,000 x 365 x 10 years…..3,650,000 souls!
They sometimes said that 1,000 were dying per week for at least 10 years: 1,000 x 52 x 10 years…..520,000 souls! And this was for a camp population that at highest was, according to the WFP, 57,000.
Let us now briefly step into the world of reality. I have with me a 2005 letter from the LC3 chairman of Atiak the county in Gulu that had some of the most dangerous IDP camps (…remember Barlonyo?). In the letter , that chairman, Odong William George reported the deaths in the 14 Atiak IDP camps for the period 1-15 September 2005, i.e., 2 weeks, at 54 persons. In other words, the weekly mortality rate was 27 persons.
As you may know, Gulu, Kitgum and Pader had 114 IDP camps. If 27 persons died per week in 14 camps with the most adverse living and physical safety conditions, one can infer that on average about 220 persons died in all the 114 in Acholi region per week. So, where did these people get their figure of 1,000 per week from (or 1,000 per day)?
The 10 years was the period over which the people of central Northern Uganda saw themselves being confined to IDP camps. In fact one can even get it from the speech by their wonderful Dr Adam Branch( now a lecturer at Makerere University) who refers to 1996 as the time when the camp policy was instituted. Indeed they said that 1,000 people were dying per week, after being prompted to retract an earlier claim that those many people were dying per day.
They said that they prefer Dr Adam Branch’s data to Mr Odong GW’s data…, and who in his wonderful paper refers to the Acholi as “our fellow citizens…”. Yes. Dr Branch gives the figure of 1,000 and I wonder whether he remembers where he got it from, a source that actually stated that the Acholi region was experiencing a Crude Death Rate (CMR) of 1 person per 1,000 per week, which he and the rest of you then flew off with in the fantasy of 1,000 per week (or per day when our propensity for adding binzali takes the better of us).
One George Okello(UAH forumist working with IMF in London) remarked that “But even if I take your figure of 220 deaths per week in the whole of Acholi, is this not so repugnant to human sensibility?” is quite predictable. Then why doesn’t he just say that many people have died in Acholi, instead of confidently bandying around 1,000; whose source he did not tell us and over which he vacillate, as per day, and later, per week?
Okello also said , “..playing games with figures…”: who is playing games with figures? ….is he the one who the other day was saying that the for the NRA to be a people’s army, it should have have had 98% Baganda in its Luwero days? What was his response when he was informed that Buganda has only about 54.9% Baganda?
Anyway, I have included here the picture of the wonderful Dr Adam Branch whose hot air of a speech is what they authoritatively refer us to…….