NUSAF III Dam Project in Agago Stalls over Alleged Embezzlement

Construction of the community dam situated in Paicam Parish, Otaka watershed, kicked off in February this year after the government through Office of the Prime Minister-OPM disbursed 132 millionn shillings.
Residents of Paicam Parish, Lamiyo Sub  County in Agago district have accused their Community Project Management Committees (CPMCs) of mismanaging funds meant for the completion of Acuku Community Dam Project under the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund phase three (NUSAF III).

Construction of the community dam located in Paicam Parish, Otaka watershed, kicked off in February this year after the Office of the Prime Minister-OPM disbursed 132 Million Shillings.

It is meant to provide sufficient water for boosting livestock production in the area and improved household income for 53 selected group members in the community. 

The group members however say the dam project which was to be completed by July this year suffered delays following corruption allegations by executive members.

For instance, members alleged that shillings 15.7 million meant for Environmental Conservation management, and HIV /AIDs awareness training among the Communities were not paid to the beneficiaries.

Irene Oyella, one of the group members notes that the contractor, Geneber Enterprise Limited contracted to undertake the dam construction failed to install culverts on an access road at the dam site. 

She notes that members of the group were also supposed to receive a total of shillings 26 million as payment for labour but only 18 million shillings was paid out to the beneficiaries.

“It is not fair to divert community benefits for personal gain. The Bill of Quantity was not presented to the group at the start of the project, members were paid only shillings 18 Million out of 26 Million shillings stated in the BOQ and that has made members so aggrieved on the decision of the executives,” she said. 

Johnson Otim, the LCll Chairperson of Paicam Parish says only 50 percent of the project work has been completed adding that the site has since been abandoned by the contractor who was paid shillings 92.6 million. 

He notes that the site engineer during the execution of work forged letters requesting for the release of the fund minus informing group members, which violated the guidelines in NUSAF3 implementation.

According to the project bill of quantity (BOQ), out of the shillings 132 million, 70 percent of the project fund was to carter for Equipment, 20perceny for Labour, Four percent on Environment management and HIV/Aids while CPMC Administrative cost was at two percent and BOQ design at four percent.

Otim says the group currently has only Shillings 5.5 Million Shillings in their bank account which was raised under the Village Saving and Loan Association-VSLA.

  But David Komakech, the Chairperson for the Community Project Management Committee who is being accused refuted the allegations of mismanaging the project fund. 

He says the allegations are political and arise out of hate from a few members.

Suzan Akany, the Agago Resident District Commissioner says she has received complaints from the aggrieved members adding that she will follow up on the matter.

The group members have since opened up a case of fund mismanagement against their executive members, David Komakech, Okello Titus the group secretary, Treasurer Dorothy Ayaa, Site engineer Raymond Olyel and the Facilitator Juma Muhammad at Patongo Central Police Station (CPS) under CRB 27/9/2021.

NUSAF phase III project ended on June 30 this year. The project became effective in March 2016 and was implemented through the Office of the Prime Minister with funding from the World Bank to provide effective income support and build the resilience of poor and vulnerable households in Northern Uganda. 

The project comprised of four components; labour-intensive public works (LIPW) and disaster risk financing, livelihood investment support, strengthening transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption (TAAC) and safety net mechanisms and project management.      

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