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Manpower Shortages Hamper Services in Agago District

Agago District Chairperson Leonard Ojok Opio says that they are working around the clock and engaging the Public Service Commission for an increment in the wage bill to allow them to recruit more staff. He says currently the district has a shortage of close to 500 teachers while the health sector alone requires about 100 staff considering that some health facilities will be elevated from Health Center II to Health Center III.
Agago District Leaders pose for a photo moment with a team of legislators that visited the District on Monday.

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Agago District local government is struggling to deliver services due to dire manpower shortages. The district with a staff ceiling of 1,501 personnel, has a manpower gap of 571 staff in the various departments, according to the Chief Administrative Officer Stephen Oloya.

Oloya says the district had intended to conduct recruitment of civil servants to occupy key positions but the exercise was put on halt after the expiry of the term of office of the District Service Commission. The district last advertised jobs in March last year to recruit 74 officers to fill various positions.

The positions included that of Senior Environmental Officer, IT Officer, Probation and Welfare Officer, Senior Lands Management Officer, Forestry Officer, Communication Officer, Principal Human Resource Officer, and Education Assistants, among others.

Agago District Chairperson Leonard Ojok Opio says that they are working around the clock and engaging the Public Service Commission for an increment in the wage bill to allow them to recruit more staff. He says currently the district has a shortage of close to 500 teachers while the health sector alone requires about 100 staff considering that some health facilities will be elevated from Health Center II to Health Center III.

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Oloya says the District Service Commission has been reinstated and its members are currently studying the recruitment process before embarking on the exercise.

According to Oloya, low wage limitation, low staff retention, poor working facilities, and accommodation continues to hurt the recruitment and retention of staff in the district. But, he also notes that manpower shortage is greatly affecting service delivery in the education and health departments which are very crucial in the district.

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Dr Hellen Drajea, the Acting Agago District Health Officer acknowledges the understaffing level in the health department, especially in the health facilities. Dr Drajea says the staffing level currently stands at only 52.6 per cent and notes that plans are underway to raise the staffing through the recruitment of more personnel.

She says four Health Center II’s are currently undergoing construction before they are elevated to Health Center III.  They include Omot Health Center II and Layita Health Center II whose construction progress is now at 80 per cent while Lamiyo and Lapirin Health Centers II are currently at 55 and 95 per cent work progress respectively. 

In the 2020/2021 financial year, Agago District local government returned shillings 3.5 billion to the treasury after failing to utilize it. Shillings 635 million of the returned money was meant for salaries of new staff to be recruited while the rest was to be utilized under Projects in the Education sector, Health, and Water departments.

District officials say they have already received communication from the finance Ministry notifying them that the money will be released back for spending this financial year 2021/2022.

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