Harvesting of the 1997 second season food crops is almost complete. Heavy rains from mid-November to early December, mainly in the eastern parts, resulted in floods and mudslides which caused loss of life, damage to housing and infrastructure and localized crop losses. However, the overall outlook for the current second season food crops, now being harvested, is favourable. Despite the localized crop losses, the abundant rains since the beginning of the season were beneficial for crop development. The heavy rains have also improved pastures and livestock conditions, particularly in the Karamoja region, previously affected by prolonged dry weather.
Prices of maize and beans, which by December 1997 had doubled in a year, are anticipated to decline with the arrival of the new crop in the markets; the previously tight food supply, following two consecutive reduced harvests, is expected to ease. Nevertheless, the food situation will remain difficult for the large number of displaced people in northern parts, affected by persistent civil conflict.
Food assistance to the flood-affected population is currently being provided, but the operations are being hampered by bad road conditions.