By: Ismael Kasooha
Residents from Bukedi sub region are optimistic that the Parish Development Model (PDM) that is to be launched will help reduce household poverty in their region.
President Yoweri Museveni will launch the new program for poverty reduction on 26th February 2022 at Kibuku District Headquarters.
The goal of the PDM is to increase household incomes and improve quality of life of Ugandans with a specific focus on the total transformation of the subsistence households (both on-farm and off-farm, in rural and urban settings) into the money economy, as well as eradication of poverty and vulnerability in Uganda
James Okurut, the LC V chairman Butebo said that the people in the district are eagerly waiting for the start of the PDM because they have high hopes that it will turn their challenges into opportunities.
“We are very optimistic that the PDM will address our challenges that have kept us in the poverty cycle for generations. When the individual household is targeted then there is hope at the end of the tunnel,” said Okurut.
PM Robinah Nabbanja with other Ministers in Busia for the prelaunch sensitization meetings
He said that over 95% of the people in Butebo District depend on rain-fed agriculture which is prone to changes in the weather conditions that greatly affect production and productivity.
“Despite the fact that we have swamps in the area that can supply water for small scale irrigation we still depend on rains which are not reliable which leads to losses on the farm,” said Okurut.
Aminah Namajja, a resident of Butebo said that the PDM will help them to increase their household incomes because accessing financial services has been a great challenge.
“For us as women, it is very difficult to access financial services because we don’t have collateral security to get money from the money lenders but when the PDM starts we hope this will be addressed,” said Namajja.
Namajja however said that for this programme to be beneficial, it should be inclusive of all households so that development is balanced.
Karibu Faraso said that there is need to use an iron hand on the civil servants so that they don’t misuse the funds meant to benefit the local people.
“This programme will benefit us if an iron hand is applied on civil servants because they have failed many good intentioned government programmes,” said Karibu.
Raphael Magyezi, the local government minister with other ministers at Palisa during the PDM prelaunch sensitization meeting
The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja led a team of ministers and senior technical people in preparation for the launch of the Parish Development Model, a new program established by the President Museveni and the NRM Government to improve household incomes and transform the 39 percent of Ugandans currently not in the money economy into cash economy.
“The President calls it ” helping our people who are working for the stomach, okukorela ekidda kyonka” to start earning an income and we hope this will be realized with the support of the local leaders,” said Nabbanja.
The team traversed the districts of Busia, Tororo, Butaleja, Budaka, Butebo, Palisa and Kibuku in Bukedi sub-region to sensitize leaders right from LC I to the district to embrace the programme.
“What we are doing is like what John the Baptist did in the Bible, preparing the way for Jesus Christ. We are preparing the way for the big drum, His Excellency President Museveni to come and unveil the new way to deal a blow to household poverty. We want to make sure that all the plans to get the Parish Development Model to operate are in place,” said Nabbanja.
The Minister for Presidency, Milly Babalanda with Jenefer Kacha Namuyangu during one of the sensitization meetings in Bukedi
The PM Robinah Nabbanja trying out Karate at Busia play ground
For the smooth start of the PDM, there is need to have Parish Chiefs in all parishes and wards, creation of SACCOs, Training on financial inclusion and managing money, Training on identification of projects that bring money, like poultry, piggery, onion growing among others.
The Prime Minister said that this Parish Development Model is organized differently from the other income Programmes Government has undertaken before.
It is different from Entandikwa, Bona Bagagawale, and the Youth Livelihood Program.
She said that under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, the government is undertaking every effort to plan it well, leaving no stone unturned.
“We are making sure that all the 7 pillars of the Model are up and running. This approach is not just about giving money, although we are actually going to give money,” said Nabbanja.
Government has disbursed sh17m to each Parish this year, and sh100m next year and the subsequent years to come.
Busia Residents welcoming the team of ministers at the prelaunch meeting in Busia
“The Government wants to make sure that this money actually helps you to do productive enterprises and make money and get out of poverty, take children to school, have a decent living and have a good life,” said Nabbanja.
She cautioned parish chiefs against misusing the funds because this time round, government will not allow anybody to touch the money for unintended purposes.
“And this money will not be stolen or misused this time. If anyone is planning to dip their fingers in PDM money—bubakeredde,” warned Nabbanja.
The government is optimistic that with the PDM, the country will reach the Middle Income Status quickly.
The primier cautioned the people in Bukedi sub region to desist from land fragmentation because it retards government programmes aimed at improving household incomes.
Nabbanja said that families dividing land amongst themselves retards the implementation of government programmes.
Nabbanja asked the people of Bukedi to engage in fish farming in the wetlands instead of growing rice because it is environmentally friendly and does not affect the ecosystem.
The PDM is premised on seven major Pillars, which are:
1. Production, Storage, Processing and Marketing
2. Infrastructure and Economic Services
3. Financial Inclusion
4. Social Services
5. Mindset change and cross cutting issues (Gender, environment, Disability etc)
6. Parish Based Management Information System
7. Governance and Administration