WEST NILE: Museveni Commissions Regional Referral Hospital, Fruit-factory in Yumbe

Yumbe – President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni has, on Saturday, January 9, commissioned the newly refurbished and expanded Yumbe Regional Referral Hospital, the fruit factory and opened the Lokopio Hills Technical Institute.

Museveni, who is also NRM party presidential candidate, emphasised the government’s commitment to improve livelihood of the people in West Nile.

“People of West Nile thought we were hurling stones at them and yet we were casting meat! You can now see benefits of the NRM government,” said Museveni citing the newly commissioned regional referral hospital, fruit factory and institution in Yumbe.

The NRM party chairman called upon leaders to focus on the needs of the people regardless of their race, tribe/ethnicity and religion to create harmony among communities.

On another note, Yumbe leaders, acknowledged the NRM government’s impact on delivering infrastructure and livelihood improvement enablers.

“We appreciate launched Pani fruit factory in Ludonga Sub-county. We have the mangoes available with steady supply. We also call for the support of the Aringa cooperative Union to boost their cultivation of the raw-material for the factory to operate at optimal level,” lobbied Hon Huda Oleru Abason, the former Woman Member of Parliament Yumbe District.

Hon. Oleru, who is the currently NRM MP flag-bearer for Aringa East constituency, also petitioned the President to consider the construction of markets in Kei and Kerwa to boost East African trade with DRC and South Sudan.

In response, Museveni welcomed the request whilst lauding the people of Yumbe acknowledging the need for access to market for produce and manufactured products – affirming the great opportunity this presents to the table.

Situated in Pani Village, Nyori Parish, Drajani Subcounty,the UGX8.9bn fruit factory – with a production capacity of five metric tonnes per hour that started in 2015 and was set to be completed in 2016 but later hit a snag over financial constraints. The factory will be processing mainly local mangoes to pulp to be packaged for export.

The fruit factory is one of the several other agro-processing and value addition infrastructure that have been established.

Previously, traders would export the mangoes to as far as Kenya and Rwanda thus risking losses as a result of logistical and storage

The newly commissioned Yumbe Regional Referral Hospital was upgraded from a General Hospital to a Regional Referral Hospital in December 2020 to decongest Arua Regional Referral Hospital in West Nile by handling transfers from Lamwo, Moyo, Obongi, Yumbe, Koboko and others in Acholi.

The expansion, according to Ministry of Health officials was guided by the Health Sector Strategic Plan II that advances accessibility to health facilities to a distance of within 5 kilometers especially in the hard-to-reach areas in order to reduce disparity in access between districts and regions.

Still on the government’s efforts to make sure that Ugandans can access health care at the shortest distance from their places of abode, the government is progressing well on the plans of having a Health Centre III in every sub county countrywide.

“So far, in the financial year 2019/20, 191 Health Centre II’s have been upgraded to HC III’s, another 105 HC II’s are being upgraded to HC III’s in the financial year 2020/21.
Officials in the Ministry of Health further revealed that there is a plan to upgrade 35 Health Centre II’s into HC III’s bringing the total to 331 Health Centre IIIs countrywide.

Uganda is among the largest refugee hosting countries in the world. By February 2016, it was estimated that Uganda was hosting over 510,000 refugees.

Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Yumbe is home to over 45percent of the refugees from the neighbouring countries of Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

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