As the Ministry of Health grapples to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda, North Bukedi Cooperative Union [NBCU] has contributed Shs 5 million towards efforts to combat the pandemic.
The contribution is geared towards supporting efforts of the COVID-19 task forces in the districts of Pallisa, Budaka, Butebo and Kibuku.
NBCU chairman, Farouk Gundi justified the Union’s donation, saying: “People’s wellbeing and that of the farmer’s Union are interdependent. As such our humble contribution is the ultimate expression of our social responsibility.”
The Shs 5m donation was spread out among the four districts, with Pallisa receiving Shs 1.5 million, Budaka Shs 1.5million, Kibuku Shs 1million while Butebo got Shs 1million.
Gundi specifies that the contribution was specifically directed at providing fuel logistics for the district taskforce.
“Most of the districts were facing a huge challenge of fuel and could not easily move to various areas to carry out community awareness and also respond to suspected cases,” he explained.
Pallisa Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and Chairperson of the district task force, Ssenyonjo Kyeyune, while receiving the donation on behalf of Pallisa, pledged that contributions would be put to proper use and accountability provided.
“The task force will be transparent about any funds received; they have already informed the National COVID-19 task force in order to get guidelines,” he said.
He thanked the NBCU for coming to their rescue in providing fuel facilitation.
Budaka district RDC Martin Orochi received the money on behalf of the district task force; LC5 Chairman, Charles Kadyama for Kibuku district and Butebo RDC Fatuma Ndifuna for Butebo district.
“The district task force assures that any support received will be used to improve service delivery,” Ndifuna said.
As of today, Uganda has registered 61 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
North Bukedi Cooperative Union is one of the oldest surviving Unions in the country, comprising 75 primary societies across the four districts of Pallisa, Budaka, Butebo and Kibuku.
The Union recently received Shs 2.4bn from the government as part payment out of a total Shs 11.4 bn owed to it in damages for the destruction of its properties during the Liberation War, including several ginneries and other assets.
NBCU Chairperson, Gundi, was grateful to the government for honouring the Union’s war claims which, he says, has enabled them to clear off longstanding debts that were choking the farmers union.
Regarding the NBCU’s current focus, Gundi said:
“The Union is carrying out massive strategies to revive cooperatives societies so that they can re-position themselves as collective centres for the members.”