Northern Uganda Minister of State Grace Kwiyuchwiny said infrastructure projects in the region must match economic activities if they are to benefit locals.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for trade infrastructure facilities in Madi-Okolo, funded by the World Bank, Ms. Kwiyuchwiny said there was a need to intensify economic activities in northern Uganda and West Nile, without which such projects might not have an impact on the high poverty indices in both regions.
However, she also noted that it is important for people in both regions to actively participate in government programs such as the parish development model.
“We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that we use these new projects such as markets to sell value-added products. We should, as a community, take full advantage of [programmes such as] the parochial development model to build our capacity for agricultural production and processing,” Ms. Kwiyuchwiny said, before revealing that the government was also developing the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund IV, which will soon be launched to give new positive economic impetus to the region.
“My desk [under the Office of the Prime Minister] is coming with NUSAF IV. All these efforts are aimed at increasing financial resources to improve household incomes,” she added.
The World Bank has funded a number of infrastructure projects, including markets, recreation and resource centers in 11 refugee-hosting districts valued at around $30 million.
They are funded under the World Bank Support for Municipal Infrastructure (USMID-AF) implemented by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
Mr. Obiga Kania, Minister of State for Urban Development, said that Madi-Okolo, one of the refugee hosting districts, faces various challenges including lack of proper road network and facilities. commercial.
“Getting to some of these parts of West Nile is really a challenge. The road network is not good at all, but there are modern facilities such as markets,” he said, adding that it was important that the infrastructure in the region be improved.
Madi-Okolo, he noted, has about Shs8b in contract value which aims to develop market infrastructure.
Mr. Ronald Afidra, MP for Bas Madi-Okolo, said he would continue to monitor the progress of projects under construction in Madi-Okolo, including contractors’ compliance with key aspects such as consideration of the gender in the recruitment of workers.
“Our people should benefit from these projects both directly and indirectly. This includes employment. We want some revenue to stay with our people,” he said.
Terego, Yumbe, Adjumani, Obongi, Moyo and Lamwo are the other districts benefiting from the World Bank’s $30 million funding for infrastructure development such as markets, resource centers and youth facilities.