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DRDIP infrastructure projects worth Shs11 billion idle in West Nile

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One of the unutilized DRDIP projects in Madi Okollo district. PHOTO URN

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 16 completed infrastructure sub-projects under the Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) in the West Nile region have remained unutilized, according to the latest Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended 30th June 2023.

The facilities worth 11.6 billion shillings which have not been put in use by the local communities are under the Social and Economic Services Infrastructure component of the DRDIP programme.

According to the audit report, Yumbe District Local Government has 7 unutilised projects, followed by Moyo District Local Government with 6 Madi-Okollo District Local Government with 2 projects and Obongi District Local Government with one unutilized project.

The Auditor General in his report blamed the failure to utilize the facilities in the affected local governments on the delayed procurement and installation of medical equipment by the ministry of health.

“The Accounting Officers explained that Medical equipment was supposed to be procured and installed by the Ministry of Health. However, this had not been done,” reads in part the audit report.

Khelil Ojock Bran, the Yumbe district desk officer for the Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) explains that the failure to utilize the completed facilities is beyond their control as a district. He further notes that access to basic social services, especially health services has remained low for some community members since the constructed facilities continue to lie idle.

“As a district our hands are tied. The procurement of the medical equipment to be used in the completed facilities is supposed to be done by the ministry of health,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Joel Ojedra, the Madi Okollo district desk officer for the Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) acknowledged that two of projects remain utilized following their completion. According to Ojedra ,they have already informed ministry of health officials about the need for equipment which have not been delivered.

Launched in July 2017, the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) is a World Bank funded project implemented under the Office of the Prime Minister.

The project provides development and direct income support to the poor and vulnerable communities within refugee hosting districts, to improve access to basic social services, expand economic opportunities and enhance environmental management.

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