MARACHA. The West Nile regional Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) brigade commander for the 409 Brigade, Col Jackson Kayanja has told people of Maracha district that poverty is the biggest war in Uganda that every citizen has to fight.

Col Kayanja was speaking during the Independence Day celebration for the district held in Maracha town council.

“Our war today is against poverty and I am asking leaders to join together to see how we can fight the vice”, Kayanja said.

He said many youths are idling instead of keeping themselves busy in productive work, something that has prompted many to indulge in drug abuse hence leading to criminality instead of undertaking productive ventures to alleviate poverty.

He said there is a need to sensitize youth so that they desist idling activities which he said can be achieved through stakeholder unity.

While disclosing a recent encounter between UPDF and a group of drunk youths from Logiri sub-county in Arua district who stoned UPDF officers during a patrol, he cautioned youths who keep interfering with work of UPDF personnel.

“We are here to protect our country, its people and their property. We then condemn people who resort to provoking the officers who are on duty” Kayanja said.

He called upon the security team of Maracha district to seriously consider dealing with youth who indulge in drug abuse because it remains a pulling factor in the development process.

Maracha district chairman, Mr Lawrence Adiga noted that lack of parental responsibility in education which is an engine to the socio-economic transformation of Uganda has continuously portrayed less support to the central government intervention.

According to the woman member of parliament of the district, Ms Rose Ayaka, all the stakeholders have to be questioned about how much they are contributing towards eradicating poverty at household levels.

Ms Rose 10 10 19Maracha district woman MP, Ms Rose Ayaka Atima. PHOTO BY JOSEPH ODAMA

She said many youths indulge in drug abuse because of being influenced by others, something that eventually affects their interests toward working hard to alleviate poverty.

She said government initiatives like operation Wealth Creation, Youth Livelihood Fund and Uganda Women entrepreneurship Program (UWEP), among others are aimed at eradicating poverty in households which is being faced with implementation challenges.

She called for need by politicians, religious and cultural institutions to join hands with stakeholders like the UPDF to make the effect of peaceful political environment of Uganda yield development fruits.

“We need to continue sensitizing the youth because many have been misled by others, even including some leaders”, she said.