AMURIA – The State Minister for Teso Affairs, Dr. Ongalo-Obote Clement Kenneth, has commissioned two markets in Amuria District, totalling to an investment of Shs1.7 billion.

The two facilities, Wera Livestock Market and Amuria Central Market, were established by United Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) under the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) – a government of Uganda programme supported by the European Union and supervised by Office of the Prime Minister.

Minister cuts tape for livestock market

The Minister challenged Amuria district leaders to operationalize the markets to ensure they raise the expected local revenue and stir economic development in the area.

Speaking at Wera Livestock Market that he commissioned earlier in the morning, the Minister said: “If you use this market well, it will help us achieve many of the pillars of the Parish Development Model (PDM). Here we hope to see revenue enhancement and an increase of commodities”.

Dr. Ongalo-Obote advised the local leaders to promote the facility as a one-stop centre where farmers can access farm inputs and advisory services.

“This should be a place where farmers can get quality drugs for their livestock and best farming practices, not simply selling cows. The market has also boosted women’s potential to start cattle keeping. This is economic empowerment, Dr. Ongalo-Obote said on September 13, 2023.

State Minister for Teso Affairs (right) at the livestock market

He urged the local leaders to set up a governance structure to oversee operations of the livestock market to ensure it meets the objectives for which it was established.

According to the Ag. Amuria District Engineer Okello Godfrey Kennedy, the Shs656.6m Wera Livestock Market comprises facilities such as a cattle crush, 13 water troughs, a three-stance VIP latrine, pipe water system, two loading and offloading ramps, walkways, and a drawn wire fence. Others include veterinary and revenue collection office, childcare centre and playground, slaughter slab and a market shade with 24 stalls.

The Chief Administration Officer, Ms. Angella Akullu, applauded the government, the EU, UNCDF and MoLG for establishing the market.

“We are happy that this market has been established and commissioned. Before, the district had no central market for livestock, which contributed to loss of local revenue and it was difficult for us to control cattle diseases,” she said.

Mr. Moses Eyabo, the Amuria District chairman, said the market will promote production and marketing and make it easier for the district to collect local revenue.

He said the district plans to promote the market as an eco-tourism centre to serve traders and travelers plying the Soroti-Moroto road.

Ms. Asumpta Tibamwenda, the Ministry of Local Government representative, said: “We wanted livestock to reconnect the people to the past and project them to the future”.

Amuria Central Market

State Minister during the tour of the market

Speaking at the commissioning of the Shs1.1b Amuria Central Market, later in the afternoon, Dr. Ongalo-Obote, tasked the management committee to ensure that the facility generates more revenue by mobilizing timely payment and collection of market dues.

“If you don’t pay taxes, where will you find money to maintain this market,” he advised.

The stalls at the Amuria Central Market

According to Mr. Okello, the Shs1.1 billion market comprises four market shades with a total of 96 stalls, a management office, restaurant and multipurpose hall, kitchen, 10 butteries each equipped with a 250 deep freezer, childcare centre and playground, waste bank and water-borne toilets.

The UNCDF deputy country director, Ms. Jenifer Bukokhe, said construction of the two markets was supported under the DINU component of the Local Government Excellence Fund that aims to build the capacity of the targeted districts to enhance local revenue.  END