Norway uses money recovered from OPM to build classrooms

stronAMURU.stron

The Norwegian government has constructed 104 new classroom blocks and renovated 27 others in 23 schools in Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Nwoya and Pader districts.The Norwegian ambassador, Mr Thorbjorn Gaustandsether, said the Shs7.8 billion used to construct the classroom blocks was part of the money recovered from the Shs50 billion Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) funds misappropriated by officials in the Office of the Prime Minister.Under the project implemented by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), 230 pit-latrines were also constructed in the 23 schools and the classroom blocks were equipped with chairs and desks.Speaking during the classroom blocks handover ceremony at Pacilo Gunya Primary School in Amuru District, Amb Gaustandsether said: “After realising that funds from Norway meant for reconstruction of northern Uganda through PRDP were misappropriated, we asked the government of Uganda to refund it us.”He said a decision was taken by Norwegian government not to let a few corrupt officials in Kampala to cause total suspension of aid to northern region, thus they resorted to a charity organisation— NRC to implement the construction of the classroom blocks.Mr Gaustandsether said it was the Ugandan government’s responsibility to ensure that the number of teachers in the beneficiary schools is adequate.The Amuru District chairperson, Mr Anthony Atube Omach, said: “The scandal that happened in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) had derailed us in Acholi Sub-region but at last, we have some hope.” He thanked the Norwegian government’s efforts to recover the misappropriated PRDP money meant for the rehabilitation and growth of northern Uganda, which was ravaged by the Lord’s Resistance Army’s two- decade insurgency. The NRC country director, Mr Lamin Manjang said: “What brings all of us here together begins with a story about an assessment An assessment of a critical situation in the field knowing that there were children learning under trees who needed assistance and remembering the impact of the conflict on school infrastructure”However, Mr Manjang castigated area leaders with exception of the Amuru District chairperson for reportedly coming late or not turning up for several meetings organised by NRC.Mr Manjang seemed vindicated when the State Minister for Primary Education, Mr Kamanda Bataringaya, who was expected to convey government’s message, turned up about three hours late when area leaders and the ambassador had dissolved the meeting.Mr Bataringaya only found residents, majority of them children, queuing to get a share of a bull slaughtered to celebrate the construction of the classroom blocks.

stronTHE BENEFICIARY SCHOOLSstron

stronGulu:stron Abwoch Primary School, Tegot Atoo Primary SchoolstronAmuru:stron Bibia Primary School, Oporlacen Primary School, Pachilo-Gunya Primary School, Karutu Primary School, Oberabic Primary SchoolstronNwoya:stron Akara Hill Primary School, Obira Community Primary School, Bungu Primary School, Ogello Primary SchoolstronKitgum: stronLalekan Primary School, Akuna Laber Primary SchoolstronPader:stron Can Beno Primary School, Porogali Primary School, Pader Ogom Primary SchoolstronAgago:stron Kiteny Parent School, Acholi-Nyek Primary School. Tori Parent School, Coodong Primary SchoolstronLamwo:stron Agoro Lorunya Primary School, Akanyo Primary School, Opoki Primary School.

ptajuba@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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