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Gulu district leaders call for stringent measures against PDM defaulters

Gulu LCV chairperson Christopher Opiyo Ateker. URN photo

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Gulu district leaders are concerned that the Parish Development Model-PDM may not serve its intended purposes if the government doesn’t set stringent measures against defaulters.

PDM was launched in February and aims at helping locals from the parish level to increase their household incomes. Under the initiative, each parish will receive 100 million Shillings to benefit selected beneficiary groups to alleviate poverty.

Gulu LCV chairperson Christopher Opiyo Ateker, however says past government programs initiated to eradicate poverty across the country failed to yield fruits owing to the government’s failure to reprimand beneficiaries who default on paying back revolving funds.

He says unlike Emyooga, one of the many government initiatives being abused, the government should put stringent measures that will deter current beneficiaries of PDM from abusing the fund. According to PDM guidelines, the maximum duration for recovery of revolving funds is three years, and recovery is done by members of a benefitting Sacco group.

Through the Uganda Bureau of Statistics-UBOS, the government will embark on conducting data collection from households across the country between June 10 to June 24 to help in guiding the implementation of PDM.

In the data collection, UBOS will coordinate with the Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, and National Guidance charged with spearheading the fifth pillar of PDM which involves setting up the Parish Development Management Information System (PDMIS).

Ateker however notes that those in charge of supervising the data collection may be faced with hurdles in relaying the information due to the poor telecommunication networks, intermittent power supply, and lack of electricity grid in other rural areas.

He called on the government to expedite the extension of the electricity grid in the rural areas and ensure stable telecommunication networks to facilitate the smooth delivery of data by parish chiefs and supervisors.

Paul Okello, a senior statistician for Statistical Strategic planning at UBOS told journalists at a press briefing on Monday in Gulu city that data collected from the two weeks exercise will generate a work plan for implementing PDM.

He notes that the work plan will specifically focus on the budget, performance report, and information on implementing the National Development plan phase three at the parish level.

He says all households in the parishes across the country will be enumerated to help in getting out clear data on supporting the implementation of PDM.

Imelda Mirembe, the senior communication officer at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance says their team will be carrying out household registration and community profiling during the exercise to inform the implementation of PDM.

She however asked locals not to feel intimidated by the exercise arguing that it’s for planning purposes.

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