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DIGG Urges Investment in Sustainable Income Activities for PDM Beneficiaries :: Uganda Radionetwork
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DIGG Urges Investment in Sustainable Income Activities for PDM Beneficiaries

During the release of the Inspectorate of Government's report on the disbursement of PDM funds in Iganga district over the weekend, Achan emphasized that their investigations in four sub-counties revealed that many beneficiaries had misused the funds by investing in non-viable income-generating activities, which posed a threat to their economic progress.

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Patricia Achan, the Deputy Inspector General of Government, has called upon parish chiefs to channel their efforts into training beneficiaries of the Parish Development Model (PDM) in sustainable income-generating activities. This approach aims to uplift these beneficiaries from poverty.

During the release of the Inspectorate of Government's report on the disbursement of PDM funds in Iganga district over the weekend, Achan emphasized that their investigations in four sub-counties revealed that many beneficiaries had misused the funds by investing in non-viable income-generating activities, which posed a threat to their economic progress.

  Achan stated that their nationwide PDM implementation assessments are focused on ensuring accountability and proper utilization of PDM funds. The investigations were conducted in the sub-counties of Bulamagi, Nawaningyi, Nakalama, and Nakigo, with a particular focus on the absorption of funds by 12 PDM Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (Saccos).

The findings indicated that all the Saccos received the funds, but many had made ill-advised investment decisions, resulting in significant losses. Some even diverted the money for personal purposes, such as marrying second wives, purchasing luxury items, or spending it on alcohol, which contradicted the main goal of the PDM program – poverty eradication in impoverished communities. The report noted that some people referred to the PDM funds as "drinking money."

Achan provided an example of beneficiaries who initially invested in commercial poultry but ran out of funds to buy feed, leading to the death of the poultry and the collapse of their poverty alleviation dreams. Achan stressed that instead of hiring individuals to draft business plans for quick access to PDM funds, parish chiefs should engage closely with beneficiaries to assess the viability of their business plans, allowing them to profit from their investments. 

She also noted that some beneficiaries began with one project but, upon observing the progress of their fellow Sacco members, copied their ventures without the necessary skills, leading to the failure of these enterprises.

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  Achan's findings also revealed that PDM beneficiaries faced challenges accessing markets for agricultural inputs and other related equipment necessary for profitable smart agriculture. As a solution, she recommended providing fuel allowances to district technocrats to facilitate effective supervision of PDM Saccos in beneficiary communities.

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Ezra Gabula, the Iganga district chairperson, mentioned that politicians and technocrats were collaborating to ensure the smooth execution of the PDM program, including the disbursement of funds to beneficiary accounts. However, he noted that there was a gap in adequately training communities on selecting viable enterprises. Gabula added that many beneficiaries perceived the PDM funds as grants from President Museveni, resulting in frivolous spending on luxuries instead of investing in income-generating activities.

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