President Yoweri Museveni has said that the next financial year’s budget should prioritize on irrigation and building fertilizer factory in Tororo.
Museveni made the remarks in Ongongoja Sub County, Katakwi district where he officiated as chief guest at a thanksgiving function for Rev. Fr. Lawrence Akepa and Rev. Fr. Paul Imalingat. The priests are kin to Vice President Jessica Rose Alupo Epel.
The President’s remarks were informed by Usuk County MP’s revelation, John Bosco Okiror that farmers in Teso have lost trees and plants to drought. Museveni had indicated that the region was not growing enough trees to support Soroti Fruit Factory.
The production of food and fruits in Teso sub-region has lately declined because of drought that has forced some of the farmers to cut down trees and exposed many families to famine.
According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification- IPC Phase 3 report of October 2022, the food security situation in Teso sub- region has deteriorated significantly compared to October 2018 due to harsh climatic conditions especially drought.
The report notes that at the time of the assessment in July 2022, about 61% of the households were employing crisis or worse food coping strategies and 83% were employing Crisis and Emergency livelihood coping strategies.
However, in the Budget Framework Paper for the next financial year 2023/2024, education and health were tipped to take the lion share. This follows the government programme on Human Capital Development for science teachers and health workers.
The budget frame wok paper also says that water and environment will focus will on the completion of construction of Kyenshama and Kyemamba multi-purpose dams in Mbarara and Lyantonde; Geregere multi-purpose dam in Agago District to 10% completion; a multi-purpose earth dam in Eastern region to 30 percent; Kawumu Irrigation Scheme in Luweero district to 40 percent completion and construction of six Medium Scale Irrigation Schemes in Western, Central and Northern Regions, Busoga, Bukedi and Teso sub-regions to 30 percent progress.
The government has also proposed to prioritize the full implementation of the Parish Development Model -PDM and scaling up Emyooga, oil and gas development, enhancing support to Uganda Development Bank -UDB and Uganda Development Corporation -UDC under the Private Sector Development (1.798 trillion), and irrigation particularly the small scale solar powered irrigation under Agro Industrialization Programme (1.499 trillion).
The country’s National Budget has for long focused on infrastructure development until the National Development Plan III, in which government resolved to balance between infrastructure and human capital development to spur economic growth and development.