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Kitgum Leaders Blame High Poverty Level in Acholi On Laziness, Corruption

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.

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.   

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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.

 

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William Komakech, the RDC of Kitgum district, reiterated that the biggest problem affecting the economic development of people in Acholi is laziness.   

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.