KITGUM. Leaders in Kitgum District have raised concerns over the widespread sale of oxen given to locals under the government’s Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) programme.
The programme was introduced in 2017 to eradicate poverty at household level, but the locals are using the money realised from the sale of oxen to settle debts.
The NUSAF3 project was undertaken by the government and World Bank and is being implemented in 55 districts of northern and eastern Uganda under the coordination of the Office of the Prime Minister.
Its objective is to have effective household income support and enhance transparency.
Mr Gaston Billy Graham Odongkara, the vice chairperson of Kitgum District, said they have received several reports of some individuals and group members misusing the oxen for other purpose other than eradicating poverty.
“Some animals have been sold off to settle personal debts,’’ he said.
He warned that if the trend continues, the intended goals of the programme will not yield any result.
Mr Odongkara, however, advised the beneficiaries to work hard and make a difference in their lives.
The district NUSAF desk officer, Mr David Oyok, tasked the beneficiaries to make good use of the government programme to better their lives.
“The oxen and ox ploughs the benefiting groups are receiving are meant to fight poverty at household level,’’ he said.
Mr Amuli Kasuga, the deputy Resident District Commissioner, warned that whoever is found misusing or mistreating the animals will be arrested and prosecuted.
“The vice of selling off the animals will mean that such a person is sabotaging government programmes meant for poverty eradication and as leaders, we shall take action immediately,’’ he said.
He advised the beneficiaries to work closely with the agricultural extension workers in the sub-counties to make sure that the health of the animals is monitored to avoid losses.
On Tuesday this week, 42 oxen and 21 ox-ploughs were distributed among the benefiting groups in Labongo Akwang and Labongo Layamo sub-counties.
A total of 18 oxen and nine ox ploughs were given to the three groups in Labongo Akwang Sub-County while Labongo Layamo Sub-county received 24 oxen and 12 ox ploughs NUSAF3 programme.