NTUNGAMO – Adella Kembabazi is a businesswoman in Rubaare Town Council in Ntungamo District. She belongs to Rusheyi market Vendors Sacco under Emyooga program. The 48 – year- old says that she struggled to expand her business since she had no capital.
“Following the introduction of Emyooga program, I got a loan of Shs 800, 000 which I used to add on my stock. I bought shirts, curtains and bedsheets from Kampala and life has never been the same again. I want to thank President Museveni for introducing Emyooga,” she shares.
Just like Kembabazi, Geoffrey Busingye is another beneficiary of the government’s poverty eradication scheme. He is a music producer and a member of Rusheyi Performers Sacco. When his Sacco got Shs 30 million from Microfinance Support Center, he got a loan of Shs 1 million.
He added the money to other savings he had gathered over time and established Calls Production Studio in Rubaare Township. The studio is now being used by artists in the area to produce their music at a cheaper price.
Noel Steven, the Chairperson Rusheyi Market Vendors Sacco says for quite some time, vendors struggled to get a fixed place of abode where they could sell their products.
“Getting products from villages to towns like Rubaare was hard,” he says.
Following the advent of the Emyooga program, Noel says vendors can now work together in Saccos and get fixed places where they can sell their products.
According to Ntungamo deputy RDC, Isaiah Byarugaba the western district has the potential to be the best in Emyooga program.
He argues that they have the best bananas and beans in the country so the sky is the limit for them.
Byarugaba who was speaking at Emyooga monitoring function in Rubaare Township said those who thought Emyooga program would fail should be ashamed.
“Where are the doomsayers? Emyooga program will go from strength to strength.”
In his remarks at the function, State Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo asked civil servants to focus more on service delivery than salaries.
Kasolo said technocrats such as Commercial Officers are critical in implementing government programs and that’s where their attention should be.
Challenging them, Kasolo said he decided to ditch his office in the capital city to come to the villages to strategize with technocrats on how best to fight poverty.
“No salary is enough. Even if you get Shs30 million it won’t be enough. That’s why your focus should be on service delivery. This is not an easy task. President Museveni has been winning many battles but so far this one of poverty has persisted,” he said.
The Minister said in Ankole sub-region, it is only Mbarara City, that beats Ntungamo district, in Emyooga program.
He explained that he has been to Kiruhura, Kazo, Ibanda, Mbarara City, Mbarara, Rwampara, Isingiro districts and now Ntungamo which is the second-best.
“Mindset change is the most important thing. The money that the government brings won’t take you to prosperity. What makes you rich is the way you think,” Kasolo said.
Emyooga program implementation in Ntungamo District
Ntungamo is comprised of five constituencies; Ruhaama East, Ruhaama, Rushenyi, Kajara and Ntungamo municipality
Among the 85 Emyooga SACCOs formed, 68 are in Ntungamo District and 17 in Ntungamo Municipality
Associations stand at 1924 with 28,765 Individual members. Among them, 1007 associations that have received funds from SACCOs. 8745 members have received funds from these associations.
Seed Capital received is at Ugx 2,120,000,000, savings of SACCOs as of December 31 2021 at Ugx 407,427,000, total Share Capital Ugx 201,084,000 and amount received by Associations from SACCOs Loans stands at Ugx 2,545,123,700.
The money recovered from loans stands at Ugx 1,842,566,350 with a loan portfolio of Ugx 1,242,566,350.