Lwengo Anti Poverty Campaign Attracts Graca Machel Top story

1968 Views Lwengo, Uganda

In short
Mutabaazi explains that the entrance of Grace Machel, who is also expected to visit the district in July next year means a lot to the eradication of poverty in the district.

Graca Machel, the widow of the late former South African president Nelson Mandela has joined the Lwengo anti poverty eradication campaign. Last year, George Mutabaazi, the Lwengo LC V chairperson launched an anti poverty campaign in the district. Under the campaign, Mutabaazi stopped residents from constructing grass thatched houses and gave those still living in grass thatched houses up to the end of this year to roof them with iron sheets.

He also banned the use of candles in the district saying it exposes children to eye complications. The campaign drew angry reactions from NRM leaders and legislators in the district who described Mutabaazi as a lunatic. Led by Gertrude Nakabira, the Lwengo district woman MP, the area legislators faulted the LC V chairperson for implementing the campaign without a council resolution.
They also faulted Mutabaazi for failing to consult him as leaders before banning the construction of grass thatched houses in the district. The legislators argued that the project was not viable since, residents can’t afford modern houses and called on government to empower them by offering incentives.

However, Mutabaazi wouldn’t have any of this and vowed to push on with the campaign. He went ahead and signed a memorandum with Roofings Uganda Limited to provide residents iron sheets at a subsidized prices. The campaign also attracted Finance Trust Bank, which undertook to provide residents with solar panels to power their houses.
Now, Graca Machel, through New Faces New Voices Graca Machel Foundation has also pledged to boost the campaign. A delegation from the foundation is in the district to evaluate the poverty levels and available opportunities to residents.

Teopista Ntale Ssekitto, the Country Representative New Faces New Voices Graca Machel Foundation says the former First Lady is committed to improving the livelihood of Lwengo People. She explains that they were approached by Mutabaazi and his team to see how they can help since their foundation targets economic empowerment.

According to Ntale, they have documented all the challenges and opportunities Lwengo can offer. She says they have agreed to provide market to crafts and agricultural products from the district. Ntale also says they are going to advance soft loans to low income earners to empower them economically.

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Mutabaazi says he is excited by the positive response his anti poverty campaign has received. He says those who called him a lunatic are now ashamed.

Mutabaazi explains that the entrance of Grace Machel, who is also expected to visit the district in July next year means a lot to the eradication of poverty in the district.

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Magladalene Nankya, a resident of Lwengo district says she is happy with the campaign. She says she hopes Graca Machel will help them get market for their crafts. She explains that they are stuck with mats, beads, armlets and local sanitary pads.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.