In a recent address on wealth creation, President Yoweri Museveni highlighted the Kasilo Fisheries Savings Group in Serere District as the top-performing group nationwide under the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation (Emyooga) program.
The Kasilo Fisheries group, with 325 members, received a grant of UGX 30 million through the Emyooga program to enhance their livelihoods. Since its establishment in 2021, this fund has grown to over UGX 100 million, enabling the fishermen to meet their daily needs and invest for the future.
Robert Onguriatum, the chairman of the SACCOS (Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies), expressed their progress, saying, “Emyooga got us on the way to prosperity, and indeed our status in our community is improving day by day.”
Due to their outstanding performance, the group received an additional UGX 20 million, as directed by the President, for being one of the best-performing Emyooga groups in the country. Onguriatum elaborated on their achievements, including the ability to educate their children, purchase livestock, and invest in improved boats and fishing nets for better catches.
However, a significant challenge they face is the poor road network, which obstructs traders from accessing their landing sites in Kagwara and Mulondo.
Onguriatum stressed, “We get a lot of fish, but the market is hampered by poor roads. We appeal to the President to fulfill his pledge to tarmac the Ngora-Serere road to Kagwara landing site and Kagwara to Soroti, facilitating easy access for businesspeople to reach us.”
These concerns were raised during a visit by Microfinance State Minister, Haruna Kasolo, who was conducting a monitoring tour of the Teso sub-region to evaluate the performance of Emyooga.
Serere LC5 Chairman, Stephen Ochola, informed the minister that fishing activities serve as the district’s primary source of revenue, but inadequate transportation infrastructure remains a persistent challenge.
Ochola emphasized, “Our performance would be 100% if that road were tarmacked. Since you sit in the cabinet, kindly inform my friend, President Museveni, to exert pressure on parliament to allocate resources for the road’s tarmacking.”
Minister Kasolo, content with the district’s performance, ranked it as the second-best in Teso, following Ngora District. He pledged to remind relevant government officials of the commitment to improve the road infrastructure.
During the visit, the minister ordered the arrest of Charles Opio, who was accused of soliciting money from various SACCOS. Opio allegedly asked for UGX 6000 from each member of the Owarakwap Maize Growers SACCOS in Iruko parish, claiming that it was on behalf of Samson Emunot, the Community Development Officer in Kadungulu Municipality.
Kasolo ordered Opio’s arrest after he pleaded guilty and issued an apology to Emunot for using his name. Opio became the second individual to be arrested after the chairman of the Okanyapuro group in Ogooma sub-county, Kumi District, faced allegations of making inappropriate advances toward a SACCOS member’s wife.