Dero kec

PM Nabbanja, MPs contribute shs110m for “Dero Amon SACCO” in Otuke County

(Last Updated On: 26 November 2023)

Otuke I Thousands of men and women – including youth gathered at Okwongo Town Council and Barjobi Health Centre III, Otuke district on Saturday, November 25 to witness a fundraising event for Otuke County Women’s Development (Dero Amon) SACCO and the launch of a health centre upgrade.

The SACCO aims to improve the lives of women and mothers in Otuke County by supporting them with funds for enterprises of their choice. The area MP, Paul Omara thinks by supporting women, families will be stable.

MP Omara received support from his colleague MPs from Lango and across the country, all contributing a total of shs110m.

The Prime Minister of Uganda, Robinah Nabbanja was expected to be the Chief Guest at both events but sent Minister of State for Northern Uganda, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny.

She sent an apology to the people of Otuke because she was deeply engaged with Presidential assignments, Minister Kwiyucwiny told Otuke County.

On behalf of the PM, she broke the ground for the upgrade of Barjobi Health Centre III to IV. By next year around this time, the “place will be different” – according to the minister.

Dero Amon

Still in Barjobi, the minister said the Saturday visit was “not her first time in the area”. She said last year she was there and launched the medical camp, provided 400 iron sheets and blessed the operation of the ambulance services donated by Hon. Paul Omara.

That (last year’s) event took place at Barjobi Health Centre III.

She thanked the people of Otuke County for electing who she describes as “a visionary leader” who has “worked closely with various Ministers in government and Parliament to bring development to Otuke County”.

The minister handed over a design plan for a theatre and an OPD expansion to the representative of the UPDF Engineering Brigade. The government of Uganda, Minister Kwiyucwiny said has committed shs1 billion this financial year for the health centre upgrade.

Otuke County Women’s Development ‘Dero Amon SACCO’

The fundraising event was attended by MPs Jacqueline Amongin (EALA) who contributed shs2m, Dr Samuel Opio Acuti (Kole North) shs2m, Paska Achiro Menya (Pader Woman) shs1m, Sylvia Akello (Former Otuke, DW) shs2m and Denis Nangweso (Samia Bugwe Central) shs1m.

MP Nangweso says his friend Omara is among few people in Uganda who understand “planning and budgeting”. 

MPs Patrick Isiagi Opolot (Kachumbala County) also the Chairperson Parliament’s Budget Committee contributed shs5m, Patrick Ocan (Apac Municipality) shs1m; Okello Lemba (Maruzi North) pledged shs1m.

Dicksons Kateshumbwa (Sheema Municipality) contributed shs2m, Omara Paul (Otuke County) shs20m; Herbert Tayebwa (Kashongi County) shs1m; Jane Avur Pacuto, Pakwach DW) shs1m; Dr Emily Kugonza (Buyanja County East) shs1m, among over 70 MPs who pledged and gave cash.

Otuke district council speaker YK Ogwal contributed shs200, 000.

Also read: Key facts about Aber primary school as it marks 100 years of existence

The Prime Minister sent her contribution of shs15m cash and the Northern Uganda Minister gave shs2m cash. A total of shs60m was collected in cash and shs50m in pledges, Paul Omara told the press.

MP Omara describes the amount raised on a single day as “unprecedented in the region”, thanking the Prime Minister, Minister Grace and his colleagues for supporting the women of Otuke.

“I have been helping and standing with my colleagues in their constituencies and today they are here to stand with me in empowering “Dero Amon”, adds Omara.

Dero Amon

Slyvia Akello, former DW MP spoke briefly: “Today, I’m not going to talk much. Today is about money for Dero Amon.” Earlier, she told the people at the Barjobi health facility not to be lied to by someone to abandon their child (Omara).

Also read: What Minister Gen. Katumba, MP Omara said during the launch of 31km road upgrade in Otuke County

“We as Members of Parliament plus other stakeholders appreciate very much that it is very important to empower and support women because when you support a woman, you support the nation, when you support a woman, you support the entire world. So, we appreciate that the women of Otuke are hardworking mothers who are willing to do a lot to make sure they survive,” says Pader Woman MP, Paska Menya.

She adds that women are so committed. “For example, when you see a woman with a child, a woman will never leave a child behind as well and a woman will never forget the husband behind. Whatsoever you will give a woman, if you give a woman shs1000 and you give a man shs1000, the woman will feed 10 people with shs1000 but a man will feed only one person – that is the spirit we have learnt with generosity in women.”

“So, it is very good for our government to stand with women and support and empower them because women have become great mothers of this world. We have seen women who have educated their children from scratch, you see a woman is not educated, the woman has not attained any formal education but they focus so much to ensure that the children they make in this world are educated no matter what circumstances.”

Advising women who will benefit from Dero Amon funds, MP Menya has asked them to invest it well. “Investing it well means you will buy things that you will go and sell and make a profit out of it. Let us focus on something which will ensure that you will reap some good profits. For example, you can go and start farming, another thing you can do is start grazing animals, another thing they can do is even start poultry keeping. These are things that when you focus on you will ensure that you will get some good profits because after a period of time, they will not remain the same as you bought them from the beginning.

“I encourage mothers that when they receive this money they should not use it for any other business. Others may go with it for alcoholism or may go with it to buy other things (materials) like beds, and utensils. Yes, it is important to buy but when you invest, the profit you get out of it use it for buying those requirements that you want. So, we encourage them to first invest before starting to do the shopping for the materials that they feel are important for them.

Dr Samuel Opio Acuti told the people of Otuke County that he has always told the people of Kole North that what you have planted is what you will eat. “You plant cassava and eat cassava; you plant maize and eat unga…… You have planted Omara Paul and you are seeing health (yotkom),” MP Dr Opio said while at Barjobi Health Centre III, repeating the same at Okwongo Town Council.

“…we need to understand the setting in Lango; it is the women who are actually the breadwinners. We have so many homes where there are widows, we have so many homes where both parents are there but it’s the women who are taking the lead, it’s the women who plant the crops, it’s the women who harvest it, go and sell it and feed the family. So, investing in the women groups you are not only investing in the women, you are investing in the children, you are investing in the community, you are investing in the development, you are trying to assist in the areas of food security.

“We know that Lango is the food baskets but we have had incidences of drought, having this money given to them is going to help them,” Kole North MP explains.

“But we also know that these saving groups, especially under the Uganda Women Empowerment Programme are that women have shown the best recovery rates, the biggest repayment rates. If you look for example Kole district, the repayment is about 90 per cent. These are loans but they are able to pay and we have also seen it in Emyooga, women are actually better at paying back loans, and not only paying back they are also better at utilizing it for the betterment of their households because when you give a woman money you are not just giving her, but you are also giving a house, you are giving a community and they will definitely put it where it will serve its purposes. So, it’s a noble cause not only for Otuke but I think even for Lango as a whole because some of these women are going to trade in other districts in Lango and that is a benefit in itself.

Molly Akao, a mother of four was excited about Dero Amon SACCO and tells tndNews, “I’m happy and hope to benefit from it. Our MP has fulfilled his promise and I hope he does more.”

Dero Amon

Additional reporting and photos by Arao Denis.

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