Urban dwellers outnumber villagers, demand more PDM cash

People conduct small businesses in Kamwokya, a slum in Kampala. Locals have called for special financing to cater for unique selected enterprises in Kampala Metropolitan areas.
Photo / Abubaker Lubowa

What you need to know:

  • The Parish Development Model (PDM) is a new government programme to lift more than three million peasant households into the money economy. In this seventh instalment of our series, Damali Mukhaye, Jane Nafula and Jessica Sabano discover that the Kampala Metropolitan area is densely populated and the PDM funds are most likely to be inneffective.

As the country gears up for the implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM) project, residents in Greater Kampala Metropolitan area have asked government to rethink the PDM strategy if it is to benefit the growing population in urban areas.

Kampala Metropolitan area is unique in nature, with exclusive challenges, which if not given special attention could cripple the implementation of the much anticipated government programme, several leaders that we have approached, have observed.

It must be noted that getting farmers from subsistence to a cash economy requires key linkages that include availability of land for commercial agriculture, adequate funding and markets. Unlike their counterparts in rural settings with vast chunks of land for farming, city residents are deprived of this privilege.

What this means, therefore, is that residents in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono cannot identify similar enterprises for funding under PDM.

The Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, in June acknowledged that the implementation of the PDM in cities and other urban centres will require special attention because of the unique characteristics of these areas.

Kampala has the highest number of people (3.6 million) followed by Wakiso (2 million). Mukono District has about 700,000 people.

Locals have, therefore, called for special financing to cater for unique selected enterprises to support the high population in these areas.

In an interview with the Monitor, the Kampala PDM focal person, Ms Asia Nabisere Kinaabi, says they have so far registered Saccos in 98 parishes in Kampala, which are ready to receive the money from the Ministry of Finance.

Ms Nabisere says residents have already identified their enterprises.

“In Kampala, we do not have land. We do not have gardens and we are not talking about crops. We are talking about trade and services. But under this, we are specific on the agriculture value chain,” Ms Nabisere says.

She adds: “We are looking at mushroom growing, value-addition on most of the agricultural products that are going to be produced elsewhere, storage, videography and financing those in petty businesses such as chapati making”.

 Ms Nabisere says Kampala alone has a total of 450,000 households who are meant to receive Shs1m, if the programme is to cater for all of them.

She attributed the high number of households to the 68 percent of the population that stays in slummy areas, which are heavily populated and in dire need of cash to improve their livelihoods.

According to statistics, there are 30 slums in Kampala (Kamwokya, Katanga, Kasubi, Mutungo, Bukoto, Ntinda, Bwaise, Mengo), with a total of 176,625 households.

This, therefore, means that if Kampala receives Shs100m this financial year, the money will only benefit 100 households of 450,000.

In five years of its implementation, only 500 households in Kampala would benefit. This leaves out 449,500 households.

For each household to benefit, therefore, Kampala alone would require Shs4.5 trillion for each household to be able to receive Shs1m in the five years of PDM implementation. This is calculated on the basis that each parish is slated to receive Shs100m every financial year.

It is against this background that leaders in the city have called for more funding.

“Kampala of course has challenges like you are all aware, we have a transient population and there are high levels of rural-urban migration. Just like the Prime Minister said, Kampala will need special consideration,” Ms Nabisere says.

She adds: “We expect the government to increase our money from Shs100m to at least Shs300m per financial year if we are to cater for all people.”

Similarly, Mr Umar Mugerwa, the chairperson of Centenary Zone Wabigalo, says government should consider giving each parish Shs500m every financial year because many people have registered and are excited to benefit from PDM yet Shs100m cannot do much.

“The government should consider us as a special district. You find one parish in Kampala with a huge population. So you cannot give us the same amount of money as those in the rural areas. Makindye alone has 20 parishes,” Mr Mugerwa  said.

Mr Mugerwa said government had not conducted enough sensitisation about the PDM.

Mr Lawrence Mukiibi, the chairperson of Railway Zone in Makindye Division, said his residents have identified businesses such as charcoal, selling tea, small stalls and chapati cooking and are awaiting further guidance.

Ms Esther Kisakye, a resident of Mbuya Zone 7, Nakawa Division said they were told to form Saccos and are waiting for the money.

Officials at Nakawa Division, Makindye, Central, Rubaga and Kampala central decried the delay to release funds yet Saccos have been formed.


Wakiso residents

The Wakiso District Production Officer, Mr Michael Lubuulwa, says communities have been sensitised and enterprises for each parish selected. Locals have also formed groups and appointed leaders.

Bank accounts have also been opened up and the beneficiary details uploaded in the integrated financial management system, which is managed by the interim leadership.

Mr Lubuulwa says so far, 1,436 groups in 100 parishes in Wakiso have been formed, excluding the municipalities.

The number of groups differ in each parish. For example,  Kyengera Town Council hosts the highest number of groups. They registered 156 groups, Kajjansi Town Council has 150, Wakiso Town Council 120, Kasanje Town Council 95 and Kakiri Town Council has 59, among others.

Wakiso Sub-county registered 100 PDM groups, Kakiri Sub-county has 89, Namayumba had 85, Mende 69, Bussi Sub-county 68, Masulita Sub-county had 57.

All the 100 Saccos in the district have received their money. But have not yet withdrawn it.

 “We are still waiting to rank these beneficiaries to see who is really fit to get this money,” Mr Lubuulwa says.

 He adds that each group must have a minimum of 10 households representing 20 members. The maximum number for each group is 60 members.

Members in the urban setting are engaged in enterprises such as piggery and poultry while their rural counterparts are into goat rearing, horticulture, dairy farming and rabbit rearing, farming (coffee and banana growing), among others.

Some beneficiaries within the urban setting also opted for value-addition enterprises such as milk coolers and chicken roasting.

The district statistician is conducting household social economic data collection to establish the status of the households in the district. This will help plan on areas of intervention knowing exactly the kind of people there.

Mr Lubuulwa says the PDM will gradually make a difference in poverty stricken households. He emphasised the importance of mindset change.

“There is going to be a difference but it will not come overnight.  We need a mindset change. We have to change these people’s minds to appreciate that change in their economic status is possible.

“Once you have a positive attitude towards the programme and also know that this is the money that you are going to use and after you bring it back so that other people can equally benefit from the programme, then we shall succeed,” he says.

Mr Lubuulwa says extension officers have been deployed to work with the groups so that they come up with investment plans for their enterprises.

The district is also sensitising the community to understand the purpose of the programme.

The Kampala Parish Development Model (PDM) focal person, Ms Asia Nabisere Kinaabi, sensitises people in Nakawa Division about the PDM project last month.  
Photo / Damali Mukhaye

“There are some challenges, the level of understanding in PDM was being confused with other government programmes such as Emyooga. They say that money has come, we are going to share it. We told them that the money is enterprise based. You must be doing something along the value chain,” he says.

 The Wakiso Resident District Commissioner, Ms Justine Mbabazi, says they have held several meetings with parish chiefs and local council chairpersons to discuss and sensitise communities about the implementation of the PDM.

 Ms Mbabazi says meetings are still on-going and the communities are appreciating President Museveni for coming up with a programme that would help them recover from the economic shocks that were worsened by Covid-19.

“People have hope that the project has brought money closer to them and they are hopeful that this model will boost their income generating activities and bring more money into their pockets,” she says.

 The RDC appealed to the beneficiaries to embrace PDM and also consult her office for clarification to ensure that the programme succeeds.

“Take it as your own project and share with my office any challenges so that we can work closely with you and ensure that the project goes on well,” she said.

The chairperson of the Ssumbwe -Wakiso PDM Savings and Credit, Ms Margaret Namulindwa, is optimistic that the programme will breathe new life in several enterprises.

“Several businesses collapsed during the Covid-19 lockdown because people had no option but to eat what they were selling. Some businesses closed while others are almost collapsing. I’m sure this programme will help many families to get back on their feet,” she says.

Ms Namulindwa also says the programme would save members from losing their property to money lenders who charge high interest rates.

She says members in her group are engaged in enterprises such as poultry, piggery and selling of vegetables and foodstuff.

 The chairperson of Nakabugo Wakiso District PDM, Mr Vincent Lwanga, says members are waiting for the day they will receive the money.

“Members are yearning for this money because they expect the best out of it. They have been asking when they will be receiving the money,” he says. 

Mr Lwanga is a butcher but most members in his group are traders in foodstuff and vegetables.

The district currently has a total population of 2,007,700 with a growth rate of 4.1 percent. The population density is 700 persons per square kilometre. The ratio of male to female is 90:100.        


Mukono PDM groups

 Just like Kampala and Wakiso, the Mukono production officer, Dr Fred Mukulu, says the PDM groups are to select enterprises under the value chain.

He says they formed village enterprise groups of 10 and 30 members, which have excluded agriculture since they lack enough land.

“We told them to select enterprises across the value chain. We have 1567 village enterprise groups as of June 25. These form a parish development Sacco but each parish can only have one PDM Sacco,” Mr Mukulu says.

Mokono has 88 parishes that are set to receive the money. The first instalment for last year is Shs17 million then for this financial year is Shs100m.

“Last year’s money wasn’t enough and every Sacco got Shs7.15m,” Mr Mukulu says, adding that members will first undergo training before utilising  the money.

PDM Saccos were given percentages ranging from different categories of people, including PWDs, elderly, youth, women and others.

“The money is to be managed by Saccos only and parish development committees will supervise the enterprises,” Dr Mukulu says.

He says there were only two accounts where money was bounced under the first instalment and they are sorting that issue to get the money deposited.


What people say

The chairperson of Kitega Village in Mukono, Mr Bennecto Kiwanuka Mukasa, says so far more than 10 groups, consisting of 10 members, have been selected.

He encouraged other people to register, adding that the village has about 15,000 people.

“My area may not benefit as expected because of the high population but people in rural areas will benefit because they are few in number,” he says.

Mr Mukasa says people will operate businesses such as roasting meat, shops and poultry.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Alex Kiwanuka, a resident of Ngandu, Mukono District, says they have not yet received the money.

“We are 10 in our group but we are waiting for training as said by the programme heads in the district. They told us the money was deposited on our Saccos but they cautioned us to first go through training so that they educate us more about our enterprise and how we shall spend the money,” he says.

Mr Kiwanuka says the  Shs7.15m, which was deposited on their accounts, is too little.

“We want to operate a shop with food products but based on the current situation, the money is not enough to get everything required for the shop but we shall start with what’s available,” he says.


The Parish Development Model is an extension of government’s approach to development as prioritised under the National Development Plan (NDP III).

 Shs 17 million was provided to each parish in Financial year 2021/22 under the Parish Revolving Fund and has been increased to Shs100 million in the Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Shs1.059 trillion will be spread across the 10,594 parishes in the country, with each receiving Shs100 million as a revolving fund, earmarked for the purchase of agricultural inputs.

Establishment of the Graduate service scheme, expanding agricultural financing and access to markets, increase access to credit and financing, regularisation of labour externalisation, promotion of local content to create affirmative action for youth, affirmative action for youth in the post Covid economic recovery plans.

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