Youth Livelihood Projects Face Grim Reality in Luweero

4928 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
A survey conducted by Uganda Radio Network indicates that little or no impact has been felt in Luweero district months after beneficiaries received funding. The district disbursed shs 432 million to 67 selected youths groups spread in 13 sub counties during the Financial year 2013/14. The groups comprising of not more than 15 youths each, were given between shs 5-11 million to start or boost their projects.

Corruption, poor planning and abuse of funds threatens the success of the Youth Livelihood project in Luweero district.

The program is the latest government initiative to address the challenge of unemployment in Uganda. With an initial budget of Shs 256 billion over the next five years, the program sought to equip youth between 18-30 years with skills and start-up capital to enable them effectively participate in National development and improve their quality of life.

However, a survey conducted by Uganda Radio Network indicates that little or no impact has been felt in Luweero district, months after beneficiaries received funding.

The district disbursed shs 432 million to 67 selected youths groups spread in 13 sub counties during the Financial year 2013/14. The groups comprising of not more than 15 youths each, were given between shs 5-11 million to start or boost their projects.

One of the beneficiaries, Kitanswa Youth Diary Cattle Project in Kamira Sub County received shs 9 million for an animal husbandry project. However, the money is lying idle after a disagreement ensued between the group members on its utilization.

The members reportedly rejected a proposal by the Sub County youth council leader to pass on the project to an individual and give others a token of appreciation for using their names in the funds requisition. The Sub County has resolved to withhold the money until the group reorganizes.

In Katikamu Sub County, Busula Youth Bakery project received Shs 6.4million which they used to procure a motorcycle and machines for the establishment of a bakery. But today, Steven Mugerwa, the project chairperson says that they erred in procurement leading to the acquisition of an old motorcycle which barely serves the purpose.

He adds that the bakery project is affected by the stiff competition and low demand for bakery products in the area.

Katwe Youths Groundnuts Grinding project in Luweero town is yet to kick off after injecting shs 4.8 million in the purchase of machines but failed to meet operational costs.

Several other projects in Luweero town council and Butuntumula Sub Counties are also questionable after reports that their leaders embezzled the money and later claimed that they injected it in buying and growing agricultural produce which recorded losses.

Samuel Musaazi, the chairperson of Kalembe development Association, David Kamugisha and Emmanuel Mugeere, all youths in Luweero town, blame the irregularities on lack of monitoring, nepotism and corruption that characterized the process of selecting beneficiaries.
 
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Martha Butono, the Focal Person for Youth Livelihood Programme in Luweero couldn't be reached for a comment but the Deputy Resident Commissioner Persis Namuganza says the projects are being investigated.

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About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.