KABAROLE, October 31, 2023 – The Parish Development Model Saving and Credit Cooperative Organisations [PDM SACCOs] in Kabarole district have so far disbursed 95 percent of the money they received from the government to the beneficiaries.
According to the Kabarole district PDM Focal Person, Dr. Salvatore Abigaba, the government has so far disbursed over Shs 5.5 billion to 52 parishes in the district.
“In the financial year 2021/22 each SACCO received Shs 9.2mln and in the last financial year 2022/2023, each SACCO received Shs 100mln, totalling Shs 109.2mln for each SACCO and that was the first phase of the programme,” Abigaba said.
Abigaba further revealed that 5645 people have so far benefited, 3,035 of whom are females and 2,610 are males.
He however said despite some challenges encountered in the disbursement process, there will be an improvement in the subsequent phases of the disbursement of the money to more beneficiaries.
During the meeting with all stakeholders at the district headquarters on Monday, the Kabarole Resident District Commissioner, Festus Bandeeba noted that most of the beneficiaries have not invested the money in the enterprises they applied for.
Bandeeba said there is need to continue sensitising the beneficiaries to ensure that they put the money to the correct use so that they can benefit and help government achieve its purpose.
Considered to be a game changer by government, the PDM was launched by President Yoweri Museveni in February 2022 aiming to move 3.5mln households still in the subsistence economy to the money economy.
The beneficiaries of the programme are supposed to borrow from Shs 100mln parish revolving fund and invest in enterprises such as coffee, dairy farming, fish farming, bananas, fruits, piggery, poultry keeping, maize, and beans among others.
“As leaders, we don’t need to get tired of sensitising PDM beneficiaries, who are the active poor, because we need to change their negative mindset first if they are to benefit from the programme,” Bandeeba said.
He added: If these beneficiaries are not sensitised fully, they will not be able to account for the money which may lead to the failure of the programme. “The aim of this meeting was to assess the performance of the programme, know the challenges, and forge solutions going forward.”
He appealed to beneficiaries to invest the money in the recommended enterprises so that they can be able to pay back when the time comes.
The Kabarole district chairperson LCV, Richard Rwabuhinga appealed to the parish chiefs and SACCO leaders to learn from experience and improve
Rwabuhinga said for transparency, the parish chiefs who are in charge of the PDM should display the lists of those who have received the money on the parish noticeboards and give copies to the district leadership.
“We have received a lot of complaints from the general public about some people benefiting and yet they were not eligible and also many people from one family benefiting. If the lists are made public I think that will reflect transparency and hence elimination of those who are not eligible to benefit from the programme, ” he said.
Parish chiefs said they lack computers and facilitation to help them run their activities effectively. They said the lack of computers slowed the process of disbursing the funds to the beneficiaries whose data is supposed to be fed into the Parish Development Model Information System [PDMIS] before getting the money.
Parish chiefs said amidst the challenges they have been facing the general public went ahead to paint a bad picture about them that they were asking for money from the beneficiaries.
They added that intimidation from ineligible people has become a threat to them which they said the district and the security teams should look into.
The Kabarole district Chief Administrative Officer, Stephen Rubeihayo called upon all district leaders and the PDM SACCO leaders to cooperate and work together for the success of the programme.
Rubeihayo said like any other programme, challenges have to be there but that there is room for improvement and promised to work together with all stakeholders to ensure that some of the challenges are addressed for the smooth running of the project.
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