Local leaders in Minakulu trading centre in Oyam district are concerned over unemployed youths who have resorted to road side begging and petty theft as a means to earn a living.
Abel Okonye Achola, the chairperson LC1 of the area, says the youths wake up early in the morning to wait for vehicles travelling to and from Kampala and beg for money.
He says the youths are not involved in any form of work but rather ask everyone who passes by in a vehicle. Okonye says the youths should be arrested for sitting on the road sides to beg as they could cause accidents.
He said the youths fear garden work and yet many of them have land to cultivate but they want quick money. Okonye says that coupled with drug abuse and alcoholism, the youths have resorted to stealing even from their parents’ home.
Yasin Opio, one of the youths in the area, says that the youths do not have any source of money and they do not have any work to do. He said farming does not help the youths as they have to wait for months before they can reap.
Catherine Lamwaka, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner, says that most youths have not benefitted from government programs mainly because they have not aligned themselves to the community and also because most of the programs like NAADS, NUSAF and PRDP require its beneficiaries to be in groups.
She appealed to the youths to get involved in agriculture stating that it is one of the ways their livelihoods could change although in a long period of time.