APRIL 20, 2010: Northern Region to Get Shs319 Billion for Community Development

Northern Region to Get Shs319 Billion for Community Development
SOURCE: Monitor
By Faridah Kulabako
The people of Northern Uganda are set to benefit from the Shs319 billion (£100 million) grant that the government is to get from the United Kingdom to support development projects in the region, an official has said.

Speaking at a one-day Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) planning workshop in Kampala yesterday, the Permanent Secretary Office of the Prime Minister Pius Bigirimana said the money, which will be released in bits, will support rehabilitation programmes in the northern region for five years.

Mr Bigirimana said Shs77 billion (£24 million), will supplement the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF II) project.

This year, the project will get Shs13 billion (£4 million), Shs32 billion (£10 million) in 2011 and a similar amount in 2012.

Mr Bigirimana said they had negotiated with DFID, a UK government department and accepted that a 'good' percentage of the money under NUSAF be used to construct teachers and health workers' houses in the new and remote districts of Lamwo, Otuke and Amudat and Zombo.

"This money is not for the prime minister's office to spend, it's going to work on development projects in the North," he said.

Mr Bigirimana said some of the money is already with the World Bank and that since the districts have submitted the necessary requirements, the projects will start soon.

"We already have the hydroform machines and we are going to start building these houses," he said. To guard against mismanagement of funds, Mr Bigirimana said the government has put in place strong monitoring mechanisms and accountability measures to avoid mistakes that occurred in NUSAF phase I of the project.

The other money, according to the permanent secretary, will support the Northern Uganda Youth Development Centre with a view of equipping youths with technical skills in brick laying and carpentry.

The Private Sector Foundation Uganda will also get funds to support people engaged in agricultural production geared towards value addition processes for extra income. "We also want to minimise wastage by constructing storage facilities for the produce," he added.

The workshop, attended by district planners and Chief Administrative Officers from Northern Uganda, aimed at sharing challenges faced in the first year of PRDP implementation and forge a way forward for the coming year.

The PRPD programme started in the 2008.