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Bundibugyo Struggles to Recover UWEP Money

The programme is an initiative by the Government to improve womens access to financial services, equip them with the skills for enterprise growth, value addition and marketing of their products and services. The women are availed with interest-free revolving credit to initiate or strengthen their enterprises.

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Bundibugyo district is struggling to recover 203 million shillings given to 42 women groups under the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme –UWEP.

The programme is an initiative by the government to improve women's access to financial services, equip them with the skills for enterprise growth, value addition and marketing of their products and services.  The women are availed with interest-free revolving credit to initiate or strengthen their enterprises.

According to the UWEP Focal Person in Bundibugyo District, Harriet Babiiha, 61 million shillings was disbursed to 12 women groups in 2016. She says that each group was given 5 million shillings, however only 20 million shillings has so far been recovered.

For the second phase, 13 groups also received 61 million shillings in 2017 but only 10 million shillings was recovered.

However, some of the beneficiaries note that they were not sensitized on how to put the money to good use.

Salmah Kabugo, a group member of Bulama l Women's group says that they invested much of their money in Cocoa which they couldn't harvest because of the dry weather.

Justine Kyakumba, the chairperson of Bulama I Women's group says that some members of the group refused to refund the monthly installments.

“You find that only two or three people in the whole group are the only ones who have paid their monthly contributions. At the end of the month, you find that you find that you don't have money to pay back. It is a big challenge,” Kyakumba says.

But Babiiha says that they plan to arrest the group chairpersons over non-payment.

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