NEBBI. Women groups affiliated to the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP) in Nebbi district are calling for more funding from the government if they are to improve on their household income.

Ms Beatrice Akumu, the Kwo-lonyo women group chairperson said UWEP has done a lot to them but there is a need for government to increase its funding to absorb more women.

She said through the program, they are able to increase their stock, pay school fees, provide for their families and also save some money for future use.

“We were given UGX6m last year and we have been repaying it without any problem, we hope to complete the repayment in three years’ time, and this makes it better than a bank loan,” Akumu said.

She noted that some women prefer banks and other financial institutions with high-interest rates coupled with the short repayment period yet if they fail to pay within the specified time, they end up losing their property.

“But if the government was to inject more funds in the UWEP program, such women would be absorbed to save them from the exploitation by other financial institutions and make their lives better,” Akumu pleaded.

Mr Frank Mugabi, the UWEP communication officer in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development said they are working hard to see that the funding is increased.

In the meantime, he urged women to form more groups to benefit from the program so that poverty can be fought in the community.

“It is not only the groups that have improved through UWEP but homes too and that is the aim of this project. With such improvements, increasing funding will not be a problem for the government,” Mugabi said.

He noted that Kwo-lonyo women group which was given UGX6m has so far reimbursed UGX2.5m yet their recovery period is 3 years.

“This means that when they are given more money they can easily recover it within the specified period, and with more funding, so many groups will be able to benefit in a similar way,” Mugabi said.

Mugabe observed that Nebbi district is doing well in the UWEP project. He said out of the UGX150 million they extended to the district, at least UGX52 million has been recovered.