The plan to roll out a
multi-billion shillings Parish Development Model is drawing praise for its
potential to get millions of Ugandans out of poverty and benefit the economy.
But as ministers begin
upcountry to sensitize the people about it, some Ugandans are skeptical, saying
questions remain about whether the program will have any lasting impact.
State Minister for
National Guidance, Kabyanga Godfrey Bakulu confirmed that ministers were this
week flagged to different regions to explain how the Parish Development is to
Kabayanga is of the view
that the Parish Development Model which is this time around quite targeted will
stimulate job creation for Ugandans and stimulate development.
“We are rolling out the
Parish Development Model to increase household incomes and improve quality of
life. We are saying under financial inclusion; we shall give one hundred
million shillings to parishes” said Kabyanga.
Some Members of Parliament,
civil society, and development experts, however, doubt that it will be any different
from similar interventions like Entandikwa, NAADS, and many others that President
Museveni’s administration has had over the years. Some have said the commencement
of the model has been rushed.
While Kabayanga agrees
that people have not been quite sensitized about the model, he believes it will
have tangible benefits if the beneficiaries under Savings and Credit
Cooperative Organisation or Society(SACCOS) ensure that the one hundred million
shillings is seed money which has to be reinvested.
“My ministry is developing
the Parish Development model management information system. And we are now
collecting data on every household in the country. Because this model is only for
the 39% of Ugandans who are still in substance farming,” said Kabyanga.
//// Cue IN “So we are
Cue Out.....still substance
The e Parish Development
Model (PDM), launched by President Yoweri Museveni in Kibuku district in February
this year. It aims to lift 17.5 million Ugandans in 3.5 million households
out of poverty by transforming them from subsistence to a money economy.
Since poverty and
unemployment are linked, it is hoped that the intervention will stimulate job creation for
Some of its pillars
include Production, Storage, Processing, and Marketing. It also has aspects of
financial inclusion as part of the pillars. It is supposed to be a Parish
revolving fund whose beneficiaries will get low-cost loans for investment in
endorsed the budget for the Parish Development Model as part of the
implementation of the National Development Plan III’s ambition of job creation
and increase in incomes in households, not all of them are convinced that it
will be the silver bullet to the poverty crisis.
Bugabula North MP,
Kibalya Henry Maurice is one of the legislators that are not in an upbeat mood
as the model. He, in an interview with URN
predicted that the money will be sent out but no tangle results will be
noticed. Kibyala is of the opinion that the Parish Development model is not different
from the way NAAD was implemented.
“The Parish development
model is not going to work the way Ugandans are interpreting it. Ugandans think
the government will take one hundred shillings to the parish for people to divide
among themselves. That is what they think,” said Kibalya
“They are going to
pick an agent to supply either beans, soya or seedling in the parish. But who
are these agents that are going to supply? They are the same people that have
been supplying in NAADS and Operation wealth creation,” he added
//// Cue In “They are
the same mafias.......
Cue Out..... money is
not going to my mother”/////
The government has listed
a number of food and cash cops among the 18 priority commodities under the
model. Crops like coffee, tea, beans, and sugar among others were selected. The
list of priorities also includes fish, beef, and dairy.
Kole North MP, Opio Samuel
Acuti said while the Parish Development Model is well-intended, he doesn’t believe
that the funding will enable a household involved in framing to earn twenty million
“I did an oversight on
emyoga in my constituency. These livelihood programs are great. For example,
emyoga. It is likely a very nicely designed lorry but you decide to put an
engine of a motorcycle and the tires of a bicycle. You expect it to a distance
it will not,” said Opio.
//// Cue In “ They came
and poured 560 million.......
Cue Out.... that money
was just washed off” ////
He has information that most districts have not spent 17 million shillings appropriated as a revolving fund for Parishes.
Opio said it is unlikely
that a farmer in his constituency that has been earning five hundred thousand
shillings from Soya cultivation annually can be jump-started to earn twenty
million shillings as envisaged by the government.
“That means they are
getting about forty thousand shillings a month. That is the income of a farmer
in Kole,” he said
Uganda Bureau of statistic
data indicates that the median monthly income in Lango is about seventy
thousand shillings. From the statistics, Opio says it is unlikely that a farmer
in Lango region will earn more than one million shillings in a year.
“When you go to the
median income average for the country, it is about 191,000. That means a half
of the population is earning 191,000 per month, which is about 2.4 million in a
year. When you want to analyze that go and look at the cost of school fees, I decided
to choose the cheapest secondary school and I found that fees per term is
250,000 but the farmer earns 500,000 a year” argues Opio
Cissy Kagaba told URN that the parish development model was designed without consulting
the citizens who are supposed to be beneficiaries. “What we need to ask ourselves
is how different is the parish development model going to be than I would say
operation wealth creation, youth livelihoods program?” asked Kabaga, the Civil Society and Private
Sector Advisor for a USAID funded project, Strengthening Systems and
Sawuya Nakijoba, a Research Associate at Economic Policy Research
Centre (EPRC) based at Makerere University in an article published by the
Centre wondered how the model would be implemented when 80% of Parish Chief
jobs had not been filled by the beginning of this year.
She suggested that
Parish Development Model(PDM) should draw lessons from past government
interventions for supporting job creation, such as Uganda Women
Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) and Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) which
suffered several setbacks.