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Defence invests in wealth production

Agriculture development has been a key focus of Defence in the past five years

Promoting production for wealth creation and self-sustainability

NRM MANIFESTO WEEK |  The Defence sector is highly involved in production for wealth and self-sustainability in times of peace. For instance, through the Luwero Industries Limited, some of the supplies for UPDF are being made. There has been gradual increase in the capitalization of LIL to boost its production capacity for UPDF supplies and other markets.

In recent years from FY 2016/17 to FY 2019/20, the budget allocation to LIL has gradually been increasing from Shs 2bn to Shs 10bn respectively. This has supported enhancing capacity of the Cartridge production and assembly, production of hardened tools, carbide dies and spares for domestic consumption and mounting   and upgrade of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), building the extensive metal fabrication plant, procured an CNC wood router for enhancing carpentry works (this improved production of furniture and a show room established at 7th Street Industrial Area).

Shs 46bn was allocated to the entity in FY 2020/21 to boost the functioning of Uganda Air Cargo Co. Ltd (UACC). This enabled UACC to revive the following key operational licenses including; Air Operator Certificate (AOC), Air Service Licence (ASL), Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO), Certificate of Assurance (CoA).  As a result, the 5x – UCF C130 (Silver Lady) is operational, the maintenance and repair organization of 5X-UDF C130 is on going. The two cargo crafts will conduct operations in UN and AU; and transport Ugandan exports and imports.

To support UPDF spouses create some income, several UPDF spouses were trained in proper management of crops and animals in various Formations and Units including SOFAAD, Olilim-Training School, Lugore Training Schools, Nakasongola Cantonment, FAD- Masindi, UMAK, Hima TS and Bihanga Training Schools.  In animal husbandry the spouses were supported in establishing incoming generating projects like piggery, poultry and goat rearing. Over 70 women were supported with skills development training like making crafts and tailoring projects at Lower Mbuya.

The Govt through OWC plans to set up regional farm service centers across the country(22 regions) to bring agricultural products & services closer to the people for increased commercial & sustainable agricultural production in line with the Agro-Industrialization agenda.

The Presidential Support Fund: The Ministry allocated a Presidential Support Fund worth Shs 1.9bn to women groups in barracks as a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). As a result, 27 UPDF Units were visited and 1,863 people benefited. Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA): Currently there are 81 Village Savings and Loan Association groups with over 3,429 members.

To strengthen internal and external security, the Ministry extended support of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) and other security organisations to ensure a peaceful and stable Country towards and after the conduct of the recently concluded General Elections at Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government levels in January 2021.

A total of 82 rifles and 13,987 heads of cattle were recovered from rustlers since July, 2020.  Incursions from armed pastoral groups from Kenya and South Sudan in the districts of Kaabong, Kotida and Napak were neutralized.

Incidences of intermittent livestock thefts and general criminality remain a concern and the UPDF has increased the scale of operations to deal with the practice.

The Local Defence Personnel (LDPs) were also recruited to augment the strength of UPDF, UPF and other security agencies to curtail prevailing and emerging security threats and also impose the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of COVID-19 in especially the Kampala Metropolitan Area (KMA) and surrounding districts.

As regards to external security, to date the UPDF has deployed 32 Uganda Battle Groups (UGA BAG XXXII) to further consolidate support to the Federal Government’s effective functionality. These efforts have significantly contributed to further degrading the Al-Shabaab and as a result peace and security has continued to prevail in most parts of Somalia.

FILE PHOTO: A Ugandan AMISOM solider.

UPDF has also deployed in Equatorial Guinea under the Uganda Military Training and Mentoring Team (UMTMT)

Other achievements include strengthening the cooperation with civil authority in emergency situations and in cases of natural disasters.  Over the years, UPDF has been involved in a number of such emergency situations. Some of which include:

  • Conducted constructions of schools and health centres in the Tarehe – Sita celebrations
  • Rescuing affected people from landslides
  • Rescuing citizens in areas affected by floods
  • Fight against the outbreak of Locusts in the North Eastern Uganda (Karamoja areas) and some parts of Eastern Uganda in the Soroti Region.
  • Support other Agencies in the fight against Ebola and COVID Pandemics.
  • Treating civilian patients in different Government Hospitals
  • Supported UNRA and MoWT to shred a floating vegetation at Jinja Dam.

 

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