Regional Consultations for PRDP III end in West Nile RegionApr 20, 2015
Arua - Regional Consultations for the third Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP III) for Northern Uganda region have been concluded in the West Nile region of Uganda.
The consultations were intended to collect views and ideas from the locals which will be used to make the final PRDP III. The PRDP was put in place by the government six years ago as an affirmative action plan to help Northern Uganda recover from the Lord’s Resistance Army’s two decade civil strife that slowed down the region’s development.
“Although the plans have been around for six years, Government has realized these are not enough to address a problem that took 20 years, hence the rationale for the third PRDP,” Gonzaga Mayanja, the assistant commissioner for Northern Uganda in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said while opening the consultation meeting.
He added that the purpose of the consultation meetings was to ensure that the locals have their needs addressed in the plan.
“It is therefore important to get your ideas and views on what you want to see in this third PRDP, we want you to highlight the needs of your communities so that they will be addressed in this plan,” he said while addressing the meeting which included participants from local governments in West Nile region and spill over areas like the districts of Masindi and Buliisa which hosted internally displaced people from Northern Uganda during the time of insurgency. Other groups attending the meetings included private sector, civil society organisations and members of cultural institutions.
Sarah Onyiru, the assistant Chief Administrative Officer of Arua district, who spoke on behalf of the region’s local governments called on all her counterparts to ensure that they contribute to this PRDP if they want to reap any benefits for the region from it.
“We should look at where we have come from as part of the greater Northern Uganda, our development is still far behind the rest of the country, therefore what do we need to add to our region so that we can catch up? Let us use this PRDP III exercise to achieve that.” She said.
She called on members to especially look at the third pillar of PRDP II on peace and reconciliation carefully and ensure that it’s maintained so that the development the region has achieved so far can be sustained and built on for further development.
Participants agreed that the key areas to look out for in the programme were livelihood enhancement, natural resource management and infrastructure development. Cross cutting issues of gender equality and women empowerment, HIV/AIDS were also highlighted as important for the region’s growth.
“If these areas which we have identified during these discussions are carefully implemented, they will be helpful in bridging the gap between the north and the south in terms of development,” Nixon Owole, the Local Council five Chairman for Adjumani said.
He added that it was important to ensure that the cross-cutting issues are addressed while making certain that programmes are not spread too thin to have any significant impact. Participants also called for transparency in implementing the programme to ensure that the funds and planned activities benefit the grassroots people.
“This programme is a good one, it should be carefully monitored at all levels to ensure that the funds reach those they are intended for,” Haruna Ndema, the Prime Minister for the Lugbara Chiefdom said while closing the meeting.
The consultations were also held in Mbale to cover the parts of Eastern Uganda which also experienced spillover effects, in Gulu for the Lango, Acholi regions and in Moroto for the Karamoja region. All these were also led by OPM and supported by various development partners including the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID UK), UN Women and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which supported the consultations in the West Nile region.