Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Matany to Kotido

A long dirt road connects Matany and Kotido – subcounties in Karamoja. Somewhere in between a game preserve promised some interesting scenery. While this preserve is not the same as the wildlife preserves where giraffe, elephants, lions and the other expected African animals could be found, we did see two fox, some partridge, and a few four-legged hoppy things (like the deer family but very small).

The landscape changed from barren, dessert-like cover to occasional green bushes and then to full trees. The view was nothing like a forest, but it was certainly a more densely covered landscape resulting from semi-plentiful water.

The game preserve gave way to large garden plots where women and a few men plowed and tended the orderly crops. Why such a difference in the development of the garden between Kotido and Matany? Supposedly Kotido receives even less rain than Matany but even so the groups living in this region were a bit more advanced. An inquiry revealed that because the whites came and fed knowledge and money this area. It’s amazing what a little outside help can do to help (and hurt) a nation.