OBONGI: The National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate in the Obongi district woman MP race has promised to improve the savings culture of the youth and the women if elected.

Ms Zumura Maneno said she will invest in training of the women and youth in savings groups so that they can better manage their finances leading to an improved socio-economic standard of living.

“When I’m voted in, I would like to cooperate with the women and youth groups among others who are doing local savings to ensure they are trained by technical people on how to manage their savings and to ensure continuous savings to enable women to send their children to school and improve standard of living in the homes”, she said.

She made the comment at the launch of her manifesto on Wednesday, Maneno is currently the district youth female councilor Moyo district.

She said the biggest problem in Obongi is the persistent poor savings culture particularly among women that has contributed to the low level of socio-economic development at the household level.

Apart from improving the savings groups, she promised to tackle improvements in the agriculture sector.

“On the other hand, I’m encouraging the people of Obongi to embrace commercial farming and this would help to boost food security but also the locals would be in position to generate income that would be used for different purposes for transformation of their lives”, she added.

She wondered why the district is the only one in the West Nile region without a vocational skills training institution to help school dropouts in the district.

Zumura ManenoMs Zumura Maneno speaks during the interview

Dr George Bhoka, the former Adjumani district health officer echoed her outcry over biting poverty saying Obongi is among the poorest districts in the region; this he claimed amidst unexploited resources.

“We have vast and fertile land which is good for agriculture. We have river Nile which flows across Obongi for fishing. We also have vast land with good pasture to support livestock but unfortunately these enormous economic potentials have been put to waste”, Bhoka said.

He is now challenging incumbent Mr Hassan Kaps Fungaroo of Forum for Democratic change (FDC) for the Obongi constituency seat under the NRM party flag.

Dr Bhoka said one of his priorities once elected will be to see that Obongi people are mobilized and organized to be productive.

However, Mr Rashid Tibo, a farmer in Itula Sub County said there is a need for mechanization of agriculture if the local population is to embrace commercial farming.

He said many farmers have tried to open big chunks of land but they have been failed by lack of manpower and natural disasters.

Mr. Richard Maku, another farmer from Gimara Sub County said many farmers have failed in farming as a business due to poor plans.

He said many NGOs have empowered the saving groups but the lives of some people in the saving groups have regrettably remained unchanged.