By Richard Drasimaku
TEREGO. March 3, 2021: He is still two-and-a-half months away from assuming office but calls are already flowing towards Terego district chairman-elect Wilfred Saka from people asking for school fees, scholastic materials and or inviting him to school fees fundraising events.
“This is a sign that livelihoods are very poor and the people are in dire need for improvement,” Saka said.
Tobacco, he said, has been the biggest cash crop in Terego and many farmers are still trapped in the web of thinking that tobacco is still the crop to rely on but the world has moved. “We need to sensitise the people because simsim appears to be the gold right now,” the chairman observed in an exclusive interview.
He recalled a recent conversation with some porridge sellers who told him that their biggest challenge is getting simsim for making paste to spice their porridge.
Simsim harvest in Terego is done in the months of November and December.
However traders flock from as far as Kampala that most of the produce is purchased within days of the post harvest period.
“You find a woman going to sell simsim to buy ‘ngenjea’ (silver fish) and before long all the simsim at home is over. This is an indication that the simsim is produced in small quantity,” Saka explained.
But he underscored the need to quickly streamline governance so as to provide the required leadership to help the people transform their lives.
Saka said decentralisation requires both the political and technical wings to work together but in Terego, the civil servants have worked alone since the start of the district in July 2020.
He has proposed that the Chief Administrative Officer causes formation of ad-hoc council and committes of the ten councillors who ceded from Arua to Terego to oversee the budgeting process.
“Something can still be rescued in two-and-a-half months instead of waiting for my team to come and approve things retrospectively,” he reasoned.
The incoming chairman also outlined poor performance in education, low safe water coverage, the low staffing at health facilities which stands at 46 percent, the bad roads and rampant youth unemployment as issues requiring urgent attention.
He requested the different sector heads to conduct strategic mapping to pinpoint action points and project the future direction for Terego.
Once fully inducted into office, Saka said his team will emberk on establishing the statutory bodies like the district service commission and the district land board among others.
We want the best brains in civil service to run Terego, provide value for money to ensure the small resources are put to good use and a credible land board to help the community,” he asserted.