Gulu's Appeal on Reduced PRDP Money Wins Extra 600m

1980 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Martin Ojara Mapinduzi, the Gulu district LC5 chairman has disclosed that the Office of the Prime Minister has accepted to increase their quota by 600 million shillings to sum up to 3 billion shillings. Ojara said although the figure would still appear ‘a drop in the ocean’, it would help to finance some of the planned services for the population in the district.

The effort by the authority of Gulu district local government to protest a reduction of 3.5 billion shillings from the money allocated to them under the Peace, Recovery and development Plan this financial year has yielded fruits.
 
 Martin Ojara Mapinduzi, the Gulu district LC5 chairman has disclosed that the Office of the Prime Minister has accepted to increase their quota by 600 million shillings to sum up to 3 billion shillings. Ojara said although the figure would still appear ‘a drop in the ocean’, it would help to finance some of the planned services for the population in the district.
 
He said the increment followed a meeting with a delegation from the district and Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier on Monday.
 
Last month, the district leaders petitioned the office of the Prime Minister following a reduction in the money to be disbursed to the district to support activities to be implemented under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan—PRDP. In their petition, the district sought explanation from the Office of the Prime Minister for the reduction with demands to increase the funding figures.
 
Ojara said while they had been excited by the government’s decision to extend the program, they were suddenly alarmed by the discovery that their quota has been reduced without explanation.
 
 He explained that they expect more funding considering that the district was among the most hit by the LRA insurgency. The parameters used in allocating the Indicative Planning Figures include the intensity of the insurgency in a particular district, and population size among others. To this Mapinduzi said there is no other district that bore the brunt of the war more than Gulu.
 
//Cue in: “The extension will go…”
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Ojara explained that already, the cut is likely to impact on the planned services like education and health. He said the district had planned to spend 2.1 billion shillings on the education sector before the reduction in the figure for the district. Already, most people in the villages complain about the absence of impact of the program. It’s not clear how other districts are grappling with the cuts.
 
Patrick Okello Oryema, the Nwoya district LC5 chairman said that whereas their quota was not reduced, the amount is meager. He said government only allocated 800 million shillings to the district while Amuru district got 1.8 billion shillings.
 
Oryema questioned the criteria used in calculating the figures. He criticized government for claiming to use population figures saying that according to the figures, Nwoya is quoted to have a population of 54,000 people, a figure he said refers to the 2002 Census conducted at the height of displacement due to insecurity. He explained that the displaced population has since returned and resettled in the district raising the population to over 100,000 people.
 
The Peace, Recovery and Development Plan is intended to consolidate state authority, rebuild and empower communities. Other intentions of the plan are revitalization of the economy, peace building and reconciliation in the northern Uganda areas, which are recovering from over 20 years of the LRA war.
 
The three year development framework was launched in 2007 but delayed to start until 2009. However, last year, while its 3 year timeline was due for expiry, government announced another three year extension attracting excitement from the over 50 districts receiving the funding.
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