Apac District Leaders Raise Concern over Being Sidelined from UGX 114b Project

Asante Odongo, the LCV vice chairperson who said he has only been hearing about DINU programs in other districts not knowing it was being implemented in his district as well.

Audio 6

Apac District authorities have expressed concern about being side-lined from the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) program.

Last year, the government earmarked 114.5 billion shillings to implement projects in Northern Uganda under the program.  The project which aims at improving food security, infrastructural development and good governance in five sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso and West Nile is funded by the European Union.

The projects are expected 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. 

In January 2020, Building Resilience to Enhance Food and Nutrition program was launched in the two sub-counties of Chegere and Ibjue in Apac District.  More than 50 small-holder farming households were selected and among them, 350 formed Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA).

However, Michael Wanje, the District Chief Administrative Officer wondered how a big program is being implemented in his district without the involvement of local leaders.

“How do we have DINU in the district, sub-counties selected to implement programs but we do not know about it? When you come and introduce yourself to the district, the CAO and I get to know that you are the stakeholders in charge of this project then I will instruct the community development officers who will instruct his CDOs down there to help.”

Asante Odongo, the LCV Vice-Chairperson says that he was not aware that the program was being implemented in the district.

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The Youth Skilling Program is a component of the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU), a multi-sectoral integrated program supporting interventions in Northern Uganda. It is being implemented by IITA.

The vocational training is meant to be conducted in any Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training-BTVET within the implementing District. However, Apac as a District does not have a single BTVET Institution. 

Sam Sammy Atim, the Apac District Education Officer wondered how the program will be implemented in a District that doesn’t have a BTVET Institution.

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Tony Okwir, the Program Officer Governance explained that DINU cannot construct a new institution due to financial constraints.  He however said that the training which is fully paid will come with benefits that transporting the participants to and from West Nile as well as upkeep for all trainees.

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The youth skilling program will be conducted for youths between the ages of 15 to 30 years who have demonstrated interest in opportunities that promote the growth of the agri-business sector. The beneficiary has to be a resident of the target district for at least a year.