Rising suicide cases trouble Nwoya

Pastor Patrick Okecha (left) MP Lilly Adong (centre) and Alfred Okello councillor Nwoya district pray for Koch Goma. Courtesy photo.

Nwoya: The rising number of deaths by suicide in Nwoya district have area woman MP Lilly Adong, worried enough to urge her people not to let frustrations with daily force them to take their own lives.

At a meeting arranged by the Born Again Federation of Northern Uganda here, Adong cited Koch Goma sub-county, which she says has registered the highest number of suicide cases in recent months.

At least 20 people have committed suicide in Koch Goma sub-county since the beginning of the year. Eight of these died within a period of less than one month.

They include Mercy Aketowanga (an expectant mother) who set herself and two of her children ablaze; Joel Opiyo, who hanged himself and Monica Adero, who ended her life after being accused of killing an eight-year-old boy.

“Everyone has problems, including President Museveni. It is the reason why he hangs on to power so that he can help solve Uganda’s problems,” Adong said.

Statistics show that since 2015, at least 70 people in Koch Goma sub-county have succumbed to suicide, gender-based violence and murder.

The chairman Koch Goma sub-county, John Bosco Okullu, advised the youth to lead a prayerful life and shun crime. He said only God can deliver the people of Koch from their trials and tribulation.

Okullo said the days of worshipping Jok Loka (gods of land) are long gone since the world has embraced the Almighty God.

He attributed the increasing suicide cases in Koch Goma to hauntings by ghosts of those killed by soldiers loyal to former dictator Idi Amin Dada and LRA rebels. He cited Jero village and Lukutu, where over 30 people were burnt to ashes by LRA rebels.

Okullu has volunteered to lead a team of Born Again Faith Federation to Jero and Lukutu to carry out cleansing rituals.

Nwoya Woman MP Lilly Adong leading praise during prayer for peace in Koch Goma on Friday.

Pastor Stephen Okot, coordinator of the federation, urged the people to surrender all their burdens to God.

“This is a spiritual battle and we can’t fight it manually,” he said.

But Alfred Okello, Koch LC5 councillor, thinks that the ever increasing murder and suicide cases in the area are because the people were not taken through rehabilitation psychologically after the Lord’s Resistance Army war in Northern Uganda.

“There was need for a rehabilitation centre to provide psychological support to the people. Our people did not get post-war care in terms of counseling,” Okello said.



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