Budaka reports impressive 98% budget performance

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Budaka reports impressive 98% budget performance
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Budaka District Council has reported an impressive 98% budget performance for the 2023/24 financial year, with most planned projects successfully implemented and significant improvements in service delivery indicators.

This achievement has been met with excitement and optimism among the councilors as they recently passed the new budget for the 2024/25 financial year.

Unlike in previous years, council meetings were often characterized by tension and discord.

However, the current executive has fostered a sense of unity and purpose, resulting in a more collaborative and productive environment.

"We've recently completed the pediatric ward, and our children have now been moved from the previously shared general ward, which accommodated adults as well. Additionally, we've commenced the construction of a new general ward to ensure our citizens receive medical care in a more comfortable setting, eliminating the need for patients to sleep on the veranda," explained Emmanuel Paja , the district chairperson.

He highlighted the district's efforts to leverage the expertise of medical staff to introduce new services like dental and sickle cell clinics at Budaka Health Centre IV, serving as the district hospital.

These measures aim to shorten the distance people must travel for medical care, thus relieving pressure on Mbale's regional referral hospital.

Hellen Agrahm, the Councilor representing Budaka Town, commended the district's technical staff, led by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and the political head, Paja for their exemplary work.

She described their efforts as "very good," noting that all budgeted projects, such as road construction, the administration block, boreholes, and schools like Kamonkoli, Mugiti, and Nasanga, had been completed.

She contrasted this achievement with previous years, where there had been discrepancies between reported progress and actual work completion.

Paul Mukomba, the Councilor representing Kachomo Town Council, remarked, "This year's (2023/24) budget has been balanced, and it is for the very reason that there were no queries like in previous budgets because at least they have addressed all sectors."

The district chairperson attributes this turnaround to the fostered sense of unity and purpose, which has led to a more collaborative and productive environment. This positive shift is also credited to a concerted focus on effective budget utilization, service improvement, and district development, alongside strict adherence to policy guidelines.

"We all agree that working together is essential for the benefit of our district. Our district is greater than any one of us individually. At the end of the day, when we're no longer here, what will we have contributed to what we inherited?" Paja emphasized.

However, Robert Gawaya, the district youth representative, expressed dismay over alleged exclusion of youth from the PDM program, citing loopholes in the guidelines that have led to youths being sidelined.

Gawaya further emphasized the need for value for money audit specifically for infrastructure projects in the next financial year.

The district chairperson also revealed that the Youth Livelihood Project has greatly dwindled due to the low recovery rate, emphasizing that the majority of the youth mismanaged the funds, which has had subsequent effects. The district received funding of shs1.5 billion from the central government.

The chairperson outlined the key priorities in the new budget for the 2024/25 financial year, totaling 39 billion, which is three billion less compared to the previous budget.

The allocation is distributed as follows: 56% for wages, 29% for recurrent expenditure, and 15% for development grants. Education received the largest share, accounting for 50% of the budget, followed by health at 17.9% and administration at 14.7%.

Conversely, water, natural resources, roads, and engineering received the lowest shares, with allocations of 1.6%, 1.1%, and 1.6% respectively.

Local revenue will contribute shs553 million(1.4%) of the budget.

By addressing key areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education, the council has made significant strides in improving the quality of life for residents.

The council’s success serves as an inspiring example of what can be achieved through effective leadership and cooperative governance

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