Uganda Today: The government did not carry out a comprehensive needs assessment to ascertain whether the distribution of goats and iron sheets would lift Karamoja Sub-region out of poverty, area leaders have said.
During engagements with local leaders, specifically in Kotido District, the most poverty and hunger-stricken district last week, it was revealed that no consultations were done by both the Office of the Prime Minister or central government ministries to ascertain whether goats and iron sheets were a priority to the Karimojong.
“The goats and iron sheets projects were not a demand-driven intervention. These top-down approaches are failing here because what is delivered is imposed onto the people without seeking to know what works for them,” Mr David Moding, the Longaroe Sub-county chairperson, said.
In an interview, Mr Moding said: “How I wished the people here were consulted! They would have resorted to something else that would have helped them better. The goats and iron sheets’ project was imposed on the people. Leaders were only asked to go and identify the beneficiaries.”
According to him, the money spent on goats and the stolen iron sheets would have been given to groups to open large farms.
Ms Nuria Ashraf Teko, the Kotido District vice chairperson, advised that the government should have prioritised modernisation of agriculture by securing tractors for the communities to maximise production within the short planting seasons to address hunger, a perennial dilemma of the Karimojong.
“Besides agricultural modernisation, they needed to consider addressing insecurity at the porous border to block guns from being smuggled into the sub-region. This would enable peace and stability, which in turn would lead to prosperity,” she said.