Two Sides of the NUSAF Coin
“People in Yumbe have realized the implementation of NUSAF activities during the second phase with contrast to the first phase in which nothing was put on ground but instead imprisonment of some local people who mismanaged the project funds,” reads a message sent to News Hapa by Aiman Abdul, from Yumbe.
NUSAF, Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, is an initiative by the Government of Uganda, in conjunction with the World Bank, which aims at empowering communities by improving socio-economic services and opportunities. The first phase of this project, which was launched in 2003 and closed in 2009, was dogged with corruption allegations and mismanagement of funds, as is pointed out by Abdul. However, according to him the second phase, dubbed NUSAF II, is so much more successful. “There have been many projects involving construction of boreholes, latrines, health centers and school staff houses,” Abdul says. He identifies Romogi and Kuru sub counties where boreholes were sunk, Kuru and Odravu sub counties benefitted with new latrines, and Yumbe Town Council had staff houses built.
On the other hand, Boniface Yandu of Arua district laments that many animals procured for local farmers by NUSAF and NAADS are dying. He says that the livestock, comprising mostly of goats, cows and pigs were procured by a local council committee which then distributed a specified number of animals to each farmer involved in the project. “But now we are unable to obtain vaccines for the animals, and feeding them is also a problem due to the heavy rains that destroyed crops and grass,” Boniface tells us. District officials, when contacted, told the farmers that there are no funds to obtain vaccines, and asked the farmers to find ways of fending for their animals. “Farmers have resorted to local methods of treating the animals which are not effective. As a result, each farmer has lost at least 2 to 3 goats.”