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Karamoja Gets UGX 19 Billion For Poverty Eradication, Peacebuilding Initiatives


The United Nations Development Programme has commenced the Building of Resilience in Conflict-Affected and Fragile Communities in Karamoja- BRICK project in the Karamoja sub-region.

The 19 billion shillings project will run for 28 months in the selected sub-counties from the three districts of Kotido, Kaabong, and Moroto.

The BRICK project isfunded by the Korean Government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and UNDP and works with the District leadership and with Civil Society Organizations such as Better World, Grassroots Alliance for Rural Development (GARD), Riamriam Civil Society Network (RCSN), and Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO), Warrior Squad Foundation.

The project will focus on fostering peaceful co-existence among cross-border communities and increasing incomes for vulnerable households through environmentally friendly livelihood options.

Among the key interventions of the project include the provision of water resources as an enabling dimension of peace and security, enhancing the functional capacity of peace committees, conducting community outreach on key developmental topics, facilitating cross-border cooperation and offering psycho-social support. The others include; implementing cash-for-work initiatives, delivering training in digital literacy and entrepreneurship, supporting small start-ups, providing vocational training for youth, refurbishing local economic centers, and integrating conflict-sensitive livelihood interventions into local government plans among others.

Nwanne Vwede-Obahor, the UNDP Country Representative said that the BRICK  project is responding to some of the challenges ranging from the cross-border and inter-district conflict that has affected peace and the enabling environment for sustainable development.

Vwede-Obahor, said that the project is informed by lessons from various initiatives, notably the Kenya-Uganda Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was inaugurated on 12 September 2019 by His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, and His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, then President of Kenya.

The UNDP official is optimistic that these interventions will empower local communities to overcome identified issues and development challenges, contributing to long-term progress and resilience in Karamoja.

Vwede-Obahor noted that although the BRICK project focuses on three districts and select sub-counties, lessons learned will be shared with other districts.

Meanwhile, the local leader welcomed the project saying that the intervention is arriving when the region is recovering from insecurity and now looking forward to beefing up livelihood sources.

Milton Chelengat, the chief administrative officer for Kaabong district, noted that the project will enhance the transformation agenda and back up the government’s efforts through programs like the Parish Development Model.

Chelengat said that the district will provide full support and guard the project to ensure that its objectives are realized.

He urged the local leaders to rally the community to embrace the project that is aimed at transforming their livelihoods.

Lily Nabere, the chairperson of the Karamoja women’s peace forum applauded the UNDP for involving women in the peace-building initiative programs to restrain sanity in the region.

Nabere said they are ready to work together with the implementing partners to realize the positive impact in the communities.

Nabere also noted that there is a need to extend the program to cover all the districts in the region and other neighboring sub-regions of Teso, Lango, and Acholi.

She observed that the warriors have been causing havoc to the neighbors and this is an opportunity to cement the relationship for peaceful coexistence and natural resource sharing.

Ambrose Onoria, the Kotido Resident District Commissioner said that the project is timely and easy to monitor since there is relative peace in the region.

Onoria said that the project should be moved to all the sub-counties across the entire sub-region to reach out to the pastoral communities that move from place to place in search of pasture for their livestock.

Onoria also noted that sometimes the herdsmen are not considered in most of the projects because they do not stay in one place. He urged the partners to consider adjusting their budgets to cover the migrating pastoral group.  

Joseph Otita, the LC3 chairperson of Rupa Sub County in Moroto district appealed to the developing partners to consider prolonging the time frame for the projects implemented in the region.

Otita noted that most of the projects in the region have been running for between six months and two years they close before delivering what is expected in the area of implementations.

Otita observed that most of the projects have not been owned by the communities because of the unclear objectives and failure to cooperate with the local people.

He urged the partners to change the system of running projects and ensure that they make a change in the communities but not sink them into poverty.

Esther Anyakun, the Nakapiripirit district woman Member of Parliament who also doubles as a State minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees urged the implementing partners to ensure that the project fulfills the purpose.

Anyakun lamented that most of the implementing partners in the region have failed to change the status of the communities yet donors inject huge sums of money for the projects. She warned the partners to be passionate about what they are doing to the people of Karamoja.

She urged the district authorities to monitor the projects that are implemented in the region and cancel the operational licenses of those who are not performing.

Anyakun also urged the partners who are implementing the UNDP project to train communities in financial literacy so that they can manage their little savings.

She also appealed to the UNDP and KOIKA Uganda to put more emphasis on education and water resilience which seems to be the biggest challenge in the region.


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