Soroti Muslims get one billion shillings orphanage

Donors take a photo with Muslim children after commissioning the facility on Monday. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Muslim community in Teso sub region have received a one-billion-shilling orphanage project constructed in Campswahili, Soroti city.

The facility whose construction took two years comprises ten classrooms, two teachers board rooms, six dormitories, ten self-contained teachers houses and a kitchen.

The project funded by two Turkish organizations, Iddef and Siirtvakfi is equipped with 200 beds, mattresses among others.

Abdallah Kaluma, the project country director says that the funders are also promising to introduce primary, secondary and vocational learning institutions at Campswahili if the first project succeeds.

His comments follow the bickering between the Muslim leaders in Teso at the inception of the project. Up to Monday, the District Kadhi of Teso, Sheikh Asuman Mohamed Ochen did not show interest or participate in the commissioning of the project.

It took the intervention of Internal Affairs Minister, Jeje Odongo to have the project launched after the District Khadi declined to show up. Even the invitation letters to the function were signed by the Minister.

According to Kaluma, they have had similar challenges in other projects put across the country.

Abdul Karim Oriokot, the project coordinator says he worked hard together with the internal Affairs Minister, Gen. Jeje Odongo to lobby for the facility so as to support the education of the orphans whose parents were affected by the previous civil wars in Teso.

He however noted that the District Kadhi tossed them during the construction of the orphanage centre and also attempted to block the commissioning of the project but Gen Odongo who is the patron of the Orphanage centre gave them a go ahead to commission it for the benefit of the local people.

Oriokot says the centre has a capacity to accommodate 500 Teso Muslims and non-Muslim orphans who will pursue studying secular and theology studies when schools are reopened by government.

Responding to the accusations, the district Kadhi Sheikh Ocen said that he was only concerned with the design and the quality of work in the orphanage. He notes that he didn’t receive any plan or Bills of Quantity (BoQs) for the project, something he notes was not taken well within the Muslim leadership in Teso.

Zeki Akyuzlu, the representative of the donors says in the last five years, they focused on supporting Ugandan projects including drilling boreholes, mosques and schools so as to maintain the relationship between these two countries.

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