The people of Okwang sub-county in Otuke district who have for so many years had clean water stress will soon be smiling following a strong pledge by their neighbor President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni whose State Lodge is located in Baralegi to provide them with clean piped water.

The President made the announcement yesterday at a public rally held at Baralegi Primary School in Okwang sub county, Otuke District. 

The President had earlier on arrival commissioned Baralegi Community Facilities that comprise two new churches for Church of Uganda and that of Catholics as well as Baralegi Primary School Administration Block courtesy of the State House Comptroller Ms. Jane Barekye who facilitated their construction.

“Yesterday I was seeing water tankers bringing clean water for me to use at the Camp, but now I was saying you are bringing water for me, what are my people using,” he wondered.

President Museveni then assured the people of the area that he will make sure they get clean piped water. 

“Fortunately, there is a river nearby that I used to cross. We can make a dam and have clean water for the Baralegi camp, the school and Okwang Town Council,” he said.

The President told a huge gathering at Baralegi Primary School that he was in the area to commission the 2 Churches and the School to replace the old ones where he camped when fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels led by Joseph Kony.

“When the conflict was over, I thought it was a good idea to put up this facility which would help in development and security,” he said. 

President Museveni also thanked the leaders of the area for accepting to give him land and reiterated that it will be used for both development and security.

The President told the attentive gathering that he was in Baralegi because of cattle rustling that had started resurfacing. 

He however noted that between 2003 and 2007 Karamoja sub-region was totally disarmed when thousands of guns were recovered from the cattle rustlers.

He observed that between 2007 and 2017, there was total peace in Karamoja and the neighboring districts.

“However, some of our people made mistakes and cattle rustling has come again. But we are going to remove the guns more thoroughly this time,” he vowed.

President Museveni asked the affected people not to blame all the Karamojongs as the vice is perpetrated by a few wrong elements who have disobeyed their parents. He added that some of the bad boys have even killed LC3 officials in Karamoja and vowed to discipline them.

The President however used the same occasion to remind the people of Otuke district in particular and Lango sub-region in general of their cardinal role to fight poverty through modern commercial farming.

“Apart from security, the real medicine for a good life is household income (Lonyo me paco in Luo language).”

The President further illustrated his point in the local language of “ours and mine” (Megwa-ours and mega-mine). He said the school is for everyone -megwa- and belongs to the government but household income is for an individual -mega- mine.

He called on the leaders of the area to help enlighten the wananchi on the difference between the two that emphasize development for everyone and household income that is principally for an individual. 

“If you go home, you find mega. But if you left poverty at home when you return in the evening, poverty will welcome you home. That is why leaders must show you the way,” he said.

President Museveni also informed them of the Biblical teaching by Jesus of ‘seek ye first the Kingdom of God the rest will be added to you’. 

“NRM tells you to seek first household income the rest will be added to you,” he expounded. 

President Museveni said that once a person has enough income, life becomes easy as one can afford to do so many things.

He cited water and lighting in form of solar that one can get for themselves and not wait for the government to provide.

He said the government equally promotes the 4-acre model to help people with small land holdings open up enterprises that have good returns.

“That is what we are trying to demonstrate in the small farm of the government here in Baralegi,” he said.

The President also expressed his gratitude to learn from religious leaders that they are willing to work together with the government on Parish Development Model (PDM) and invited them together with political and cultural leaders from Lango to State House- Entebbe for further discussions on the program. 

The Bishop of Lango Diocese, Professor Alfred Olwa led the service for the commissioning of Baralegi Community Facilities.

He thanked President Museveni for the facilities that he pledged to use for worshipping God, to teach the people how to be productive in their lives through agriculture as well as to share the gospel that transforms lives.

Also present was the Catholic Bishop for Lira Diocese, Santus Lino Wanok and Bishop Emeritus of Lira Catholic Diocese, Joseph Franzeli.

Members of Parliament and other political leaders attended the function.