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LOCAL LEADERS URGED TO EMBRACE, CASCADE PDM PROGRAM TO GRASSROOTS

By Alex Byakatonda

KABALE: The State Minister of trade, cooperatives and industries, David Bahati, has Friday officially launched the Parish Development Model {PDM} in Kabale, with a call on the leaders at Lower Local Government levels and other stakeholders, to take up the mantle of cascading the program to the grassroots.

Minister Bahati, who is also the Ndorwa East Member of Parliament, said that the PDM program, will thrive only if leaders at different levels, appreciate Government’s intention of alleviating household poverty and changing 39percent of Ugandans still under subsistence farming into commercial farming and money economy.

The Minister’s comments followed numerous questions raised by several leaders and other stakeholders, who expressed doubt over whether the program will attain its intended objectives.

Speaking at function to launch the program that was held at National Teachers College {NTC} Kabale Main Hall, the leaders led by the Lyakarimira Town Council Clerk, Collins Saturday, the Butanda Sub County councilor, Gilbert Niwamanyire and the district NRM secretary, Peace Kakira, expressed worry that the program, will likely not achieve its intended purpose, of improving livelihoods of substance Ugandans.

They said that there are still people, who still believe that the funds being disbursed under the PDM program, are a presidential token to the electorate.

The leaders also noted that other government programs like Operation Wealth creation, Emyooga, women entrepreneurship programs and youth livelihood projects, have had challenges, which marred their implementation, leading into the programs not benefiting the targeted Ugandans as intended.

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However, in response, Minister Bahati observed that government thoughtfully structured and designed the PDM program, under 7pillars in order to address the challenges of the previous programs. He added that the design of the PDM is that the program, is only targeting the 39 percent subsistent poor Ugandans, to propel them into a money economy.

The Kabale Resident District Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma, noted that government has continued to fight household poverty among its residents, adding that in the last 10years, Ugandans who were below the Poverty line stood at 68percent, and the percentage has since been lowered up 39percent, who are now also being targeted under the Parish Development Model.

The Kabale District LCV Chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, commended government initiating the PDM program, as an approach for organizing and delivering public and private sector intervention for wealth and employment generation at parish level as the lowest economic planning level.

The Kabale District Community Development Officer {DCDO} Christopher Namara, who is a national PDM trainer, said that under the PDM program, the parish will therefore serve as epicenter for planning, budgeting and service delivery for both state and Non-State Actors.

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