Speaking during a sensitization meeting of leaders of the Parish Development Model, PDM, in Kitgum Municipality on Wednesday, Anywar said the people in Acholi sub-region are not poor in terms of resources, but their poverty exists in their minds.
The State Minister for
Environment, Beatrice Atim Anywar has appealed to leaders in Acholi to work
hard in changing the mindset of the population regarding work, to reduce poverty
levels in the sub-region.
The 2019/2020 Uganda
National Household Survey by the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics puts
Acholi Sub-region among the top poorest sub-regions in the country, with the poverty
rate standing at 68 percent, way above the national estimate of 47 percent.
Speaking during a sensitization
meeting of leaders of the Parish Development Model, PDM, in Kitgum Municipality
on Wednesday, Anywar said the people in Acholi sub-region are not poor
in terms of resources, but their poverty exists in their minds.
The government rolled
out the PDM in February this year to help the community at parishes increase their
household incomes. Under the initiative, each Parish will receive 100 million
Shillings to benefit selected groups.
However, Anywar said
the beneficiaries need continuous education, to make them realize some
benefits, and stop thinking that the money is to be eaten straight away, like
it has been with other government programs.
//Cue in: “Poverty
Index kitma kiwaco…”
Cue out: …for various
Anywar advised the locals that
one of the ways to fight poverty is to engage in large-scale agriculture and not
waiting on the government for help all the time.
//Cue in: “dano ocak
Cue out: … in aye
Anywar also warmed
those in charge of choosing beneficiaries against favoritism by enlisting only
their relatives, friends, and in-laws, saying they will be cursed by the tears
of the real beneficiaries.
//Cue in: “Peko me choosing…”
Cue out: …where it is
supposed to go.”//
Margaret Lamwaka, the MP for Chua East, Kitgum district asked
leaders tasked with implementing the PDM to work together with the
beneficiaries for better results.
Lamwaka advised the Acholi against living like parasites,
saying the first and last way to fight poverty is through hard work.
//Cue in: “Omyero watii kacel…”
Cue out: …manna nongo tye.”//
William Komakech, the RDC of Kitgum district, reiterated that
the biggest problem affecting the economic development of people in Acholi is
Komakech cited that several development programs such as
NUSAF, PRDP, Emyooga, Youth Livelihood Program, and Uganda Women Entrepreneurship
Program, among others, each worth billions of shillings, have been disbursed to
the sub-region but poverty highly prevails.
“The biggest problem is laziness. My people are lazy that is why
we are ever poor, yet we have huge chunks of fertile land. I think that explains
why the population is very low because we are lazy in all aspects,” said Komakech.
He also complained about corruption, and failure by
beneficiaries to pay back revolving funds, which he said led to poor performance
of all development programs in the sub-region.
“Some technical people are like vultures, they eat anything. Whether
the money is for poor or vulnerable people, they just eat it,” added Komakech.