Government has revealed that at least 15 people have committed suicide in Pader district within a period of just year.
The government has however, blamed the many of the suicides on the many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that used to carry out psychosocial support and counselling programmes and have since closed their operations in the district.
Minister of State Northern Uganda Rehabilitation Freedom Grace Kwiyucwiny made the revelation after several concerns were raised by the members of parliament from the north over the rising and worrying suicide incidents in Pader district.
The Minister told Parliament her investigation established that there are indeed cases of suicide in Pader district having been registered in Aruu North since January 2018 and based on the breakdown, seven of these are in Lapur Sub County, while four cases were recorded in Lagur Sub County, and Atanga Sub County registered two cases.
The minister added that domestic conflicts within the families also increased the rates of suicides in the district especially conflicts involving child and parent, and wife and husband, arising from various issues including early marriage, early pregnancy, land and related property conflict.
“It was further established that many suicide cases are not reported to police as the victims are quickly buried. It has now emerged that there is a growing need for psychosocial support and counselling,” she said.
The Minister promised to work with both the Regional and District Security offices to establish the scope of the matter as well as discuss with NGOs to help reactivate psychosocial support and counselling programmes in Northern Uganda starting with Pader and Omoro Districts where the prevalence is high.
“We have discussed the urgent need for psychosocial support and counselling, and for this Financial Year, we shall try to adjust in order to get some funds but next Financial Year, it will be a fully budgeted for the item,” Minister Freedom said.