President Museveni has come out and laid out strategies to permanently deal with the issue of poverty in Busoga and nodding syndrome among children in northern Uganda.
According to the president, government came up with a two-faced approach to end the nodding disease which has affected about 5000 children in northern Uganda especially Acholi sub-region.
He said the government began by spraying the streams since the disease is spread by a black fly that stays on water streams. The second approach was by government embarking on immunization of the children to kill the organisms that were in people’s bodies. Museveni said with these two approaches, there have not been new cases reported.
“I don’t think there are new cases ever since we sprayed. What we did was to stop any new cases. We said, let’s kill the fly that was spreading it, and also kill the organisms that were in people’s bodies” Museveni said during a media engagement at State House Nakasero.
The president was responding to a question by one of the journalists from northern Uganda about what government was doing on the issue of helping children affected by nodding disease.
He directed the prime minister Robinah Nabbanja to liase with the ministry for health to establish if there are any new cases ever since government undertook the two strategies.
Meanwhile, the president warned the people of Busoga against having high hopes to end poverty through the recently discovered Rare Metals in the sub-region.
He said government is going to develop those minerals, but warned that not everyone in Busoga will earn a living in those minerals.
“The quickest answer to the poverty in Busoga is agriculture. If you take the 4-acre model or even one-acre model like we have some in Tooro (that’s the way to go). In Busoga, there’s still enough land for families to engage in intensive farming” he said.
Museveni added that much as many Basoga are engaged in sugarcane growing, this business is less lucrative unless one has vast land to plant huge plantations.
“You can only get money if you do it on big scale. Therefore, I ask the Basoga to go for the seven projects under the Parish development model” he said. He outlined some of the projects including coffee (1acre), fruits (1acre), pasture (I acre for those doing zero grazing), food (1acre), poultry and fish farming.
He however, said government intends to develop rare metals in Busoga and use them to partly support the electric car industry in Uganda.
“We have started making electric cars. Those cars need electric batteries and those batteries use some of those components (rare metals) you talked about. We shall develop them. Yes, it will cater for some people but not the whole population. The whole population needs agriculture” he counseled.
Museveni cited the oil discovery in Bunyoro where he said not everybody will go to the oil fields. He said the rest of the people will benefit through agriculture because those who work in the oil fields need eggs among other foodstuffs.
“Therefore, not every body (Busoga) will go to those minerals but they will benefit through other projects to sell to those in the mineral fields” he said.
Rare Metals deposits have been confirmed in the districts of Bugweri, Mayuge and Bugiri. The metals are also important in making hardware for laptops and smart phones among other precious items.