KASESE – Kasese district local government on Tuesday presented a Shs 86.05bn business plan to the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Chief Coordinator, Rtd Gen Caleb Akandwanaho Salim Saleh.
The plan was presented during a meeting with district leaders, government agencies, the private sector and OWC at the Kasese multipurpose main hall. The ongoing effort has been themed peace and development.
The meeting was convened by Gen Saleh who has concluded months’ long excursion in Fort Portal during which he coordinated meetings between the local government, central government agencies, farmers and businessmen in a bid to drive better and fast service delivery and drive industrialisation.
While presenting the plan, Alex Masereka the district planner stated that the plan’s goal is to propel the district into the middle income status by 2021.
The plan’s objectives among others include enhancing the population’s household income, generating employment opportunities for youth, enhancing local revenue initiatives for the local governments and promoting local economic development initiatives in Kasese district.
He said that the district’s potential lies in mineral development, tourism, farming, fishing and cattle keeping.
Bigogo Sibendire, the Kasese district chairperson highlighted some of the challenges facing the people of Kasese as adverse weather changes, deteriorating land productivity levels, frequent incidences of insurgence, Inadequate educational facilities and Inadequate land for human settlement.
“Over 63% of the district land area is occupied by nature and wildlife conservation schemes including key government institutions like prison farms and mining reserves. As such human settlement and related activities are concentrated on less than 37% of the district land area resulting into a high population density and small land holding for families averaging about 1.86 acres” chairman Bigogo said.
Bigogo said that in view of these challenges, the district has proposed the initiatives that among others include establishment of an industrial park, upscaling irrigation facilities in the district, fast tracking the functionalization of Kilembe Copper Mines, upgrading Kasese airfield into an International Airport and designating Kasese as the tourism hub of Uganda.
“Government should urgently source for a credible investor to take over Kilembe Copper Mines with avenues to maximize local content including labor, food supplies, social services support etc or capitalize” the district chairperson said.
In his remarks, Gen Saleh asked the district leaders to cluster their enterprises so that they can be fully discussed with OWC.
“OWC has to change from mass supply of inputs to demand-driven approach. This will reduce on wastage and dumping of farm inputs” he said.