By: Ismael Kasooha
Residents of the Islands’ district of Buvuma are demanding special consideration under the parish development model (PDM) to address the biting poverty in the area.
The district of Buvuma is made up of over 52 islands and is a hard to reach area where electricity, roads and other infrastructure remain a thorn in service delivery.
While meeting the prime minister at Palm Hotel Buvuma in Buvuma during the parish development model roll out sensitization meeting, the residents said that PDM is a good intervention but the fishing community requires a unique approach if the people are to join the money economy.
Robert Mbagulire, a fisherman, said that the one million shillings proposed by the government to be given to each household cannot help them engage in lawful fishing.
“For beginners in the fishing industry we require at least 8m to buy a canoe and fishing gears that are recommended by the government so this money may not help us,” said Mbagulire.
Natazzi Nataliya, another resident of Buvuma however has a different version and believes that the one million shillings support will greatly help her start up a piggery project and also grow some vegetables.
“This money will help me purchase at least two piglets, feeds and also start up a vegetable garden to supplement my income, it will help me a lot,” said Natazzi.
The LC V chairperson Buvuma Adrian Waswa said that President Yoweri Museveni promised to connect the Islands of Buvuma to the national grid but this has remained unfulfilled and several other issues that need to be addressed.
“The president promised to connect us to electricity but nothing has materialized, we don’t have even a single tarmac road in the whole district making accessibility a real challenge,” said Waswa.
He said that some people who gave in their land for pal oil growing have not been compensated yet they lost their land for the good of the project.
On Parish Development model, Waswa said that they are optimistic that the local person will benefit when it is finally implemented.
“This programme is good because it targets the local poor people who have been left behind in other government interventions. We hope the funds will come as planned,” said Waswa.
The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja while launching the PDM in Buvuma asked the residents to engage in profitable ventures if at all they are to it.
“You need to be calculative in selecting enterprises because if you engage in ventures that do not bring money the purpose of the programme may not be realised,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja assured the residents that had noted all the issues that need to be addressed by the government and will hold a meeting with Buvuma leaders and other government agencies to address them.
Amos Lugoloobi, the state minister for finance and Diana Mutasingwa state minister in the office of the Vice president asked Buvuma residents to embrace the PDM because it will address most of their challenges.
Some children in Buvuma are wondering why the teachers asked them to pay school fees and all of a sudden they went on strike.
“The teachers asked us to pay school fees of sh30,000 but immediately we had paid they went on strike, what do they really want,” asked one child.
Buvuma district borders the countries of Kenya and Tanzania and can only be accessed by ferry or boat.