KOBOKO. Koboko district council on Thursday approved its budget for the 2019/2020 financial year with a drop of over Shs 1bn.

The budget plummeted from 25,650,050,000 last year to shs24, 027, 492, 000 this coming financial year with community-based services taking the lion share of 29.9 per cent.

This was followed by the education and health sector with 29.7 per cent and 29.7 per cent respectively.

Among the top eight, inadequately funded sectors in this budget despite their need for bigger allocation are production and marketing with 4%, roads and engineering 2.9%, water with 2.2%, natural resources 0.8%, trade, industry and local economic development taking the least share of 0.1%.

Speaking during the council meeting, Mr Isaac Todoko, the secretary for production, marketing and natural resources expressed dissatisfaction over the allocation for his sector, saying it was so meagre to run the activities in the department.

“We don’t know what the line ministry has budgeted for the department, but I know it is a usual habit that we are given peanuts. Much of our budget remains at the centre inform of operation wealth creation and so, we cannot complain since we don’t know what has been planned at the ministry level,” Mr Todoko said.

He stressed that in Uganda, agriculture has not been considered as a priority much as it is claimed to be the back born of the country, a reason the department cannot do much.

Todoko also noted that low funding has affected agricultural mechanization and irrigation aspects. He said this has made agricultural production to continue deteriorating amidst increasing population in the country.

“We always talk big about climate change and environmental degradation but when it comes to budgeting to boost the environment, we keep receiving peanuts out of which we can’t do much,” Todoko said.

But Mr Abeson Mokili, the chairperson finance committee advised that the local revenues collected from livestock and fisheries be retained at the district other than being remitted to the central government so that such money can be used to solve emergency outbreak of animal diseases.

Mr Bazil Candiga, the male councillor for persons with disability (PWD) equally demanded council to increase the budget for PWDs from shs9m allocated and it was later revised to shs10m out of pressure.

The source of funding for the budget is expected from local revenue collection within the district at 2.1%, 20.3% from donors and 77.6% from the central government.