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Karenga: Insecurity delays PDM fund disbursement

Some of the PDM beneficiaries in Karamoja. PHOTO URN

Karenga, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Local leaders in Karenga district have expressed deep concerns about rising insecurity affecting the disbursement of funds under the Parish Development Model (PDM). Beneficiaries from Sangar and Kawanakol sub-counties have not received their allocations due to security threats from armed warriors raiding villages, causing livestock theft and fatalities.

Security threats have hindered data collection and preparation efforts by parish officials, as villagers are reluctant to travel to remote areas for fear of safety. Felix Lochale, the LC5 chairperson of Karenga district, highlighted how insecurity, particularly in areas with limited security presence, has severely impacted the PDM program. Parish chiefs are hesitant to access isolated villages to implement the program due to the heightened insecurity.

Lochale noted challenges such as beneficiaries lacking awareness of proper fund management and some not being enrolled in the program. Efforts to monitor other government initiatives have also been impeded by armed warriors disrupting communities. He appealed to security agencies to collaborate with communities in eliminating disruptive elements causing instability.

Filbert Ocailap, the Karenga Resident District Commissioner, acknowledged the insecurity’s adverse effect on government programs and social services since October. He mentioned that armed individuals targeted government officials and community members suspected of ties to security forces. Ocailap assured increased security presence, noting a gradual return to normalcy.

Efforts are underway to expedite the PDM to ensure beneficiaries receive and utilize funds appropriately. Michael Ayepa, the Karamoja Regional Parish Development Model coordinator, confirmed the crisis, citing barriers to implementation.

Insecurity, poor network connectivity, and a lack of banking services in districts like Nakapiripirit, Kaabong, and Karenga have posed significant challenges. Ayepa mentioned difficulties in data entry and some manual fund disbursal, emphasizing efforts to ensure beneficiaries receive their funds by year-end despite these obstacles.

In Kaabong district, some PDM beneficiaries opted to invest in livestock, particularly goats, instead of squandering funds on alcohol, as highlighted by Julius Lomokol from Kaabong town council. He urged adequate security measures for both livestock and people to achieve community goals.

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