ARUA CITY: The Anglican church in Madi and West Nile diocese has received an assortment of inputs from Operation Wealth creation (OWC) to fight poverty among the Christians.

The consignment delivered at the diocesan headquarters at Mvara, Arua city on Monday included 10,000 seedlings and cassava cuttings that will add to 400 bags. Another 10,000 more mango seedlings are also expected to be supplied.

Speaking during the Monday handover Col. Dradria Loti Osutre, the OWC coordinator Arua city said they had decided to use the Church structures because the church is on ground with the people.

“We realized that 69% of the population in this country is poor and yet OWC wants to alleviate poverty amongst the poor people who are the flock at the grass roots, therefore we want to improve the livelihood of the flock through agriculture and other enterprises”, said Col. Dradria.

He said in the past, the church was making cooking oil out of sunflower and cotton seeds thereby adding value, something OWC will try to revive in this latest partnership with the Church.

“They (Church) demanded for mango seedlings with the view that the land they have allocated for an industrial park will have ready materials and market when they want to build a fruit factory” Col Dradria further stated.

Apart from the cassava cuttings and mango seedlings, he said more emphasis would be put on Apiary to take advantage of the good quality Honey from West Nile region.

Dr Stephen Kazimba Mugalu, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda while receiving the consignment at the diocesan headquarters, Mvara thanked the government for their contribution in the development of the Church.

The handover coincided with the visit of the archbishop who had officially visited the diocese headquarters for a different reason. He referred to the partnership as ‘timely’.

“The church of Uganda is celebrating 60 years of self-governance since 1961 when we got our first archbishop, we have done well in self-governance but one thing we have not done well is self-support, so we are beginning the next 60 years of our ministry and the attention is going to be given to one key area of self-support, therefore this contribution has come timely” Dr Kazimba stated.

He encouraged Christians to make use of the gesture and plant the seedlings and the cassava cuttings and use whatever scientific methods available to make sure that poverty is eradicated saying ‘we can’t have a Church that is ministering to hungry and angry people’.

Mr Martin Bileni, the Madi and West Nile diocese communication officer said the mode of distribution of the seedlings had not been fully agreed but confirmed that the church will closely work with Tree wardens in the archdeaconries.

The tree wardens, a creation of the Church were instituted to coordinate tree planting activities in their respective archdeaconries.

Bishop Collins Andaku has in the past highly prioritized environment conservation with a specific regard to tree planting.

Among other moves, a specific Sunday is dedicated to tree planting and all confirmation candidates are expected to plant a tree before they are confirmed by the Bishop. Bileni said some of the inputs would also be retained to be planted on diocesan land.