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Kasese hard to reach areas reap big from the presidential initiative on Wealth and Job Creation

By Julius Kasyakulhu and Ram Kikama 

Emyooga is a word derived from a local Ugandan dialect (Runyankole) to refer to specialized skills enterprises/groups. It is a presidential initiative aimed at wealth and job creation.

Emyooga was launched by H.E the President of Uganda in August 2019 as part of Government’s continuous strategies to transform 68% of Ugandan homesteads from subsistence to market-oriented production.

Close to a year since they benefited from the presidential initiative- Emyooga programme, various groups which invested the Emyooga funds in deferent business enterprises and investment in Mahango Sub-county Bukonzo East county of Kasese District have recorded an accumulation of the revolving fund.

In Lhuhiri parish, St Anna Catering services Emyooga group meets weekly on Sunday at Unzangeyo trading centre in Kyamuduma Village.

According to the group Chairperson, Nelson Banambwire, Comprising of 50 members both men and women including the recently released former Rwenzururu royal guards, the cluster was given shillings 1million under the Emyooga programme.

Nelson says after receiving the funds, as a group they decided to make a top up for the procurement of a 50 seater tent at shillings 1,750,000 and the project has since accumulated their incomes.

Catering Services: The Only group in Mahango Sub County but has extended service to other lower local administrative units including Muhokya, Kyarumba and Kitabu. PHOTO BY REPORTERS

According to the group’s statistical records, a full tent (tent +plastic chairs) is hired at shillings 50,000 per event. They target several events including weddings, meetings and burials among others.

Tent Procured and owned by the Members of the group. PHOTO BY REPORTERS

Jetresi Kyasuba, team leader said during their meeting that minimally, the group is hired at shillings 200,000 per event covering all the catering services and labor cost.

Below is how the group has performed

NumbersSub-countyAmountQuantityTotal
01MahangoShs 150,00071,050,000
02KitabuShs 200,0003600,000
03MuhokyaShs 200,0004800,000
04KyarumbaShs 150,0005750,000

Members of the group have attributed their success to cooperation and proper record keeping, the practices which they say enabled them to invest the funds individually through individual loan scheme among the group members.

According to Bahati Sekolangana an alcohol dealer, who is also a member of the group says he was given a principal individual loan of Shillings 136,300, the money he invested in his local brew business that has since accumulated to shillings 670,000.

Sekolangana says after receiving the money he bought Banana for making local brew (waragi) at Shs 100,000 and bought firewood for distillation at Shs 30000 and hired a drum for 6000 and used the remaining balance to sort other small expenses.

Bahati Sikolangana local bureau dealer: He says Presidential Initiative has helped him to meet personal and family needs.

Yofesi Mbakuhemba, another member says he was forced to sell his pig which he initially bought using Emyooga money following swine fever outbreak in Mahango sub-county. He sold it at shillings at 180,000 and later bought two piglets shortly after the sub-county was declared free of the swine fever.

Yoffesi attending to his piggery project

Mbakuhemba who hailed government for the emyooga project testified that he had lost hope of engaging in piggery because of what he described as hiked prices of the piglets but shortly after receiving the money, he had to male his come true.

Both Pascal Thalyamuthwe the group coordinator and Adonai Thembo chairperson LCII lhuhiri parish described the project as a helping one before they lashed at those aligning it to politics.

They say the group has been promised more three million in addition to the initial shillings 3milliom attributing this to the hard work of the group member and their cooperation towards utilizing the money.

Asked about politicizing the project, the members in this group said they subscribe to various political parties.

The lhuhiri local leaders Emyooga group asked government to consider giving more funds to already existing groups for the prosperity and sustainability of the projects.

They noted that some government projects fail because sometimes people create groups upon receiving information that government has disbursed money for organized groups stressing that such groups often have insufficient knowledge on handling the projects.

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