BY ISAIAH KITIMBO –
KAMPALA – The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has procured six vehicles valued at more than Shs1 billion to support implementation of the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) programme.
DINU is a government of Uganda programme supported by the European Union (EU) and supervised by OPM. The programme aims to improve livelihoods in 37 districts in the five sub-regions of Acholi, Lango, Karamoja, Teso and West Nile in Northern Uganda.
The vehicles were handed over to the DINU Programme Management Unit (PMU) and OPM staff by Mr Daudi Bukomooko, the Principal Assistant Secretary-Finance and Administration at OPM in Kampala on July 22, 2020.
Mr Bukomooko who represented the OPM Accounting Officer, Mr Godfrey Kaima, asked the PMU team to manage the cars better to ensure they serve the intended purpose.
He also commended Mr Pius Okello Ongom, the DINU National Programme Coordinator (NPC), for leading the PMU team and coordinating the programme well.
“We have a strong NPC who is relating well with the team and donors. He is the right person to lead the programme and we shall support him in implementing DINU activities.”
He said DINU builds on successive programmes aimed at the development and transformation of livelihoods in Northern Uganda adding: “Improvements in agriculture, infrastructure and strong local authorities are crucial to enhance the region’s economic growth and the livelihoods of its people.”
Mr Gonzaga Mayanja, the Commissioner Monitoring and Evaluation – Local Governments at OPM, hailed the EU for supporting government to improve livelihoods in northern Uganda through the DINU programme.
“I’m happy about this development [procurement of DINU programme cars]. The cars will support our team in coordinating and monitoring DINU activities in northern Uganda,” he said.
He added: “The DINU implementing partners and the programme management unit are already doing a great job on the ground and the beneficiaries are happy about the programme. This is helping to improve the visibility of the European Union and Government of Uganda in the beneficiary districts.”
Ms Celine Lhoste, the DINU programme coordinator at the European Delegation in Uganda, said the EU is strongly committed to support long-lasting peace, security and stability in Northern Uganda.
“I’m happy about the new cars for DINU and the branding which will promote programme visibility. I wish you all the best in the programme implementation activities,” she said.
Mr Ongom said: “The six vehicles including four land cruisers and two double cabin pickups were delivered by the contracted supplier- Toyota Uganda Ltd on June 8, 2020. The vehicles were further inspected by the MoWT and verified by OPM internal auditor.”
According to the distribution list, the four Toyota land cruisers will go to Kampala, Gulu, Moroto PMU offices, and OPM to support Baraza coordination while the two double cabin pickups have been allocated to Gulu and Moroto PMU offices to support DINU regional programme operations.
The Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) programme, which was initiated in 2017 is funded with a 132.8 million Euros grant from the European Union, 11.9 million Euros from the Government of Uganda and 5.9 million Euros from implementing partners.
OPM is responsible for the overall supervision of the DINU programme in partnership with local governments and a wide range of stakeholders which includes other implementing partners – GIZ, DFID/TradeMark East Africa, UNCDF, UNICEF, UNRA and OPM.
In January, the government awarded grant contracts to nine organisations to implement various development projects under DINU in the five sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso and West Nile.
The nine grantees- CARITAS Switzerland; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (ITTA); National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), CARE-Denmark, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), ADOL Health Care Initiative and DIAKONIA-Sweden, were selected following a competitive process through the DINU Call for Concept Notes that was launched last year.
The focus of their actions is to improve livelihoods through increased production of diversified food, enhanced market opportunities and better maternal and child nutrition as well as to improve performance and accountability of local governments through strengthened participation of communities.