Leaders in Namisindwa district have expressed concern about the low recovery of funds allocated for Youth Livelihood programs since 2013/14 when the program was launched. Jackson Wakwaika, the Namisindwa District LC V chairperson, addressed these concerns during his State of the District address on Friday.
He revealed that since the program’s inception, the district has disbursed Shillings 710 million to 80 youth groups across various sub-counties. However, only Shillings 10 million has been recovered so far, equivalent to a mere 1% of the total funds disbursed.
Andrew Wabweni, the Namisindwa district community development officer, emphasized that since these funds were intended to be a revolving fund, the poor recovery rate has restricted their ability to provide financial support to other youth groups. Wabweni also noted that many of the youths who received funding have migrated to Kenya, making it challenging to trace and recover the borrowed money.
He urged local leaders at the village level to educate the youth about the benefits of repaying the borrowed funds, enabling others to access financial support. Emma Bwayo, the Namisindwa district Male Youth Councilor, and Moses Waburoko, the Tsekuluku sub-county LCV councilors, pointed out that one of the reasons for the low recovery rate is that some technocrats deducted a percentage from the funds they disbursed to the youths.
This practice made it difficult for the groups to repay the full amount, as a portion of the money was misappropriated by the technocrats. Bwayo called upon the district to publicly disclose the names of youth beneficiaries along with the corresponding figures they received. This transparency, he argued, would assist local leaders in recovering the funds.
Dorothy Nebokhe Wolukawu, the speaker of Namisindwa district, urged the youth to repay the borrowed funds promptly so that other deserving youths can benefit from the program. She expressed disappointment that, since the program’s inception, the district has been unable to disburse funds to additional youth groups.
Wolukawu commended the district chairperson for providing financial accountability for the 2022/23 fiscal year, ensuring that the local community is informed about the district’s service delivery. She also highlighted the district’s achievement of meeting 80% of its expectations but called upon the central government to increase road funding, as poor road infrastructure has been a hindrance to the district’s development.