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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Economic transformation: Ensuring a bright future for Mpigi district’s population

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By Solomon Grace Male

Revolutionising the Infrastructure

In the early 2000s, the Ugandan parliament contemplated relocating the capital city from Kampala to Nakasongola. However, instead of relocating, the decision was made to expand the current capital city, encompassing Mpigi, Wakiso, and Mukono as part of the expansion project.

Mpigi is the primary beneficiary of a government-funded road project in collaboration with the World Bank. The construction of three roads, namely Mpigi-Muduuma (13.7 km) with Lungala interlink (2.5 km), Nakilebe-Sekiwunga (9.6 km), and Naziri-Buyala (9 km), is currently underway.

To ensure the smooth execution of the project, the DRDIP project methodology was adopted in the absence of compensation funds from the World Bank for affected individuals during construction.

The local communities have wholeheartedly engaged in the project, willingly offering their property (land) for the expansion as they recognise the value it adds to their homes and businesses.

Empowering Community Development

Within Mpigi district, 6,183 individuals have benefited from the Parish Development Model (PDM) funds, amounting to approximately UGX 6 billion. These beneficiaries include youth, people with disabilities, women, and the elderly.

Despite the positive impact of the PDM funds, challenges persist, particularly in the agricultural sector. The market for food crops, such as maize, has faced a decline in prices, while coffee farmers have reaped significant profits due to favourable pricing. For example, the price of “Kibooko” coffee has surged from 2500 shillings to 6,000 Uganda shillings.

Additionally, in May 2024, the district received 50 million Uganda shillings for distribution to potential entrepreneurs. However, the effective implementation of the PDM faces hurdles, including the lack of essential tools, such as computers, for generating electronic data through the Parish Information System.

To address this challenge, it is recommended that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Local Government provide the necessary equipment used during the National Housing Census to the PDM system for more efficient operations.

Security Concerns and Resolution

Security concerns have also emerged, particularly with instances of theft targeting individuals who are provided capital to initiate projects such as poultry farming.

However, law enforcement agencies, in collaboration with other security organs, have effectively upheld law and order in Mpigi district, leading to the apprehension and detention of some perpetrators.

Despite such challenges, the majority of PDM fund beneficiaries have appropriately utilised the allocated funds for their intended initiatives, although cases of misappropriation do occur among certain individuals.

In summary, the PDM beneficiaries in Mpigi express satisfaction with the funds received and are making meaningful contributions to the district’s development. While challenges persist, the overall impact on the community is undeniably positive.

The writer is a Communications Officer at the Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC)

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