Alebtong women receive 15 heifers worth shs11m from UWEP

Alebtong I Members of Aminoteke Women Dairy Farming group in Aminoteke village, Atinkok parish in Abia sub-county, Alebtong district will not further wallow in self-pity and regret as most women elsewhere will do.

This is because 15 women who made up a group have grabbed opportunities in moments of difficulty and will be channelling their energies into dairy farming.

For the last 10 years, they engaged in subsistence farming which seemed to be the only way of survival.

Through Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), the women’s group has now received 15 heifers worth of Uganda shillings 11,268,375 to transform their livelihoods.

UWEP is aimed at improving access to financial services for women and equipping them with skills for enterprise growth, value addition and marketing of their products and services.

The programme addresses the challenges women face in undertaking economically viable enterprises including; limited access to affordable credit, limited technical knowledge and skills for business development; limited access to markets as well as information regarding business opportunities.

Its main goal is to increase the participation of women in business development, increasing their incomes, livelihood security and overall quality of life.

While handing over the heifers to the group, Joshua Okullu, the Community Development Officer of Alebtong district called upon the women to co-exist and work with the group chairperson and the Parish Chief to pay back the funds accordingly.

Okullu says other groups benefiting from UWEP are not promptly paying their loan installments under the programme which is setting back other groups and delaying from accessing such funds that could better their livelihoods.

“The chairperson of Pitodong ki mon women group pretends to be sick when we go to demand the UWEP money. This is not exemplary at all and I don’t wish your chair to act the same way because this frustrates our work,” he said.

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Okullu also warned women not to miss-handle the heifers given to them, urging them to keenly embrace government initiatives since they are brought to elevate the livelihoods of the community.

Meanwhile, Isaac Walter Odongo, the Sub-county Chief urged women to embrace government initiatives like UWEPPDM, and Emyooga among others to improve their household incomes.

“By the end of this year, I want to see a change in your homes, children going to school, a decrease in domestic violence issues in your homes and so forth. We need to see development,” Odongo added.

Rose Nyana, chairperson of Aminoteke Dairy Women’s Group says the heifers given to them will in the long run support them in addressing their issues like paying school fees for their children, attending to medical bills, and buying food, among others.

“When we feed and treat the heifers well, we hope to get enough milk and use the income from milk sales to cater for our basic needs,” said Nyana.

A widow also a beneficiary of the group who preferred anonymity says the income from the milk will help in paying her children in school, buying food, and medical bills, among others.

“I will timely treat and feed the heifer adequately such that I get enough milk from it,” she noted.

Kintu Omara, the Local council and one chairperson of Aminoteke village appreciated the government’s efforts in developing empowerment initiatives that benefit and improve households of women.

He further appealed to leaders to sensitize and mobilize women to take up such initiatives to eradicate poverty through job creation.

Established in 2016, UWEP is an affirmative action revolving fund to empower women to improve their income levels, their participation and their contribution to economic development.

The project beneficiaries include unemployed women, women with disabilities and other vulnerable women. The project has an impressive recovery rate of 72.8 per cent which is the highest among all poverty alleviation projects.

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