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Kitgum Fails to Recover UGX 420m YLP Funds

Kilama says only 30.3 million shillings [about 10 percent] have so far been recovered from only 24 youth groups between July 2016 and August this year.
One of the youth Groups in Amuru Subcounty, Amuru District dealing in produce buying and selling. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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Kitgum Municipal authorities are struggling to recover 420.4 million shillings from various youth groups who received funds under the Youth livelihood project-YLP.    

At least 70 youth groups within the three divisions of Pager, Pandwong and Central received 450.8 million shillings from government since 2014.

However, Michael Kilama, the Principal Community Development Officer Kitgum municipal Council says very few youth groups have made efforts to pay back the money despite expiry of recovery period.  

Most of the youth who received the fund ventured in tailoring and fashion designs, piggery, bricklaying, bakery, hairdressing, grinding mill projects, carpentry and joinery.  

Kilama says only 30.3 million shillings has so far been recovered from only 24 youth groups between July 2016 and August this year.  

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He adds that a total of 10 youth groups who received money at the initial inception of the project in 2014 only managed to pay 12.2 million shillings out of the Shillings 63 million they received.  

He says the recovery was made through the district when Kitgum was still a Town council adding that they are liaising with the Chief Administrative Officer to ensure transfer of the recovered fund to the Municipal Council.  

According to Kilama, the project initially started well with most of the youth showing interest but noted that during recovery, some of the youth fled off outside the district after sharing the money amongst themselves.  

He cited that some of the youth had no experience in managing the businesses they applied for adding that some got excited seeing money in bulk for the first time and instead ended up misusing it. 

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Kilama asked the youth to voluntarily start refunding the money to enable others access it since it’s a revolving fund.

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The Resident District Commissioner William Komakech and the District Police Commander Moses Bwire have since given a go-ahead for the Municipal Officials to employ forceful means to recover the funds from the youth.  

Due to the low recovery of the Youth Livelihood fund, the district missed out allocation of funds to youth this financial year.   

This follows a letter written in May this year by the then Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and social development Pius Bigirimana informing the district that effective July this year, there will be no project money for YLP in Kitgum.  

The District Local Government have also been directed now to use the recovery of YLP from youth and other sources like locally raised revenue to fund, monitor and carry supervisory roles for the YLP project in the district.

Youth Livelihood programme was introduced by government in 2013, targeting poor and unemployed youth to harness their social-economic potential and increase self-employment opportunities and income levels.

Kitgum Municipality has only received 450.846 million shillings from government under YLP since 2014 when the programmed was rolled in the Municipality.