A total of shs42.1 million was collected from the fundraiser with 105 bags of cement. At least UGX200m is needed to complete the remaining works on the church.
The President’s message was contained in a speech read by the minister of state for Northern Uganda Ms Grace Freedom Kwiyocwiny during the function at Nyadri Boma grounds early this week.
The President said the country before, during and after colonialism experienced endless tribal and civil wars until the ruling national resistance movement (NRM) restored peace and stability in the whole country after defeating the Allied Democratic Force (ADF), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and disarming the Karamjong.
In addition to seeking spiritual nourishment from places of worship, Museveni encouraged people to select and engage in income-generating activities at the household level.
“All Christians should take the example of Jesus who besides feeding the hungry, healing the sick and preaching was also a carpenter,” President Museveni stated.
He said 68% of the homesteads are still poor because they engage in subsistence farming which is dangerous in the modern time where goods and services must be acquired using money.
Mr Museveni encouraged the religious and other responsible leaders in the communities to guide the people in the selection of profitable enterprises according to their land size.
He warned the locals against land fragmentation, saying what four acres can produce, half an acre cannot.
“Government instead strongly advises the families to start companies where inheritance is by shares which only allows division of output from the land. If we solve the problem of poverty in the homes, Christians will be empowered to meaningfully contribute to building their churches,” the President added.
Ms Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny on her part donated shs1m, saying poverty in West Nile is manmade.
“Just check what you’re doing, it pains my heart when I just see people sitting on roadsides with very few people are working and that is why we are very poor in Northern Uganda,” Kwiyucwiny said.
She said in West Nile, it’s only Adjumani which is better than all the districts followed by Arua and Yumbe but it is disappointing that Maracha district is listed among the poorest districts.
“If you grow crops and rear chicken it will multiply for you so that the message of the President on income generation is not in vain,” she advised.
The financial administrators of Arua catholic diocese Fr. Constantine Avaga who represented Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki during the fundraiser expressed gratitude over the locals' continuous support towards the construction of the church that opened extraordinarily without minimum requirements for a parish.
The parish was started in 2010 under a tree with express orders from then late Emeritus Bishop Fredrick Drandua to the first parish priest, Fr Constantine Avaga to work closely with Christians to begin structural work starting with Father’s house.
This was to address the growing spiritual needs of the residents in the area whose population was rising as the area had become headquarters of the district.