Zombo — The European Union Ambassador, Mr Attilio Pacifici, has asked district leaders implementing the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) projects to account for the funds.
Speaking to leaders from West Nile Sub-region at the district headquarters of Zombo on Wednesday, Mr Pacifici cautioned them to desist from diversion of funds and corruption.
"It is important for the local leaders to value the people first to benefit from the projects. And if we are not successful in implementing this project, people die and our people in Europe, who are trying to help, will not feel good. We need improved accountability," he said.
He added: "It is important that everybody knows what we are doing. Transparency and accountability are important and we should seek and get views from people about what we are doing. We will come back next year to evaluate whether we have done badly or not."
The European Union has injected 150 million Euros (Shs670 billion) into the five-year development project across the 33 districts in northern Uganda that are still recovering from two decades of insurgencies. The poverty index, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, puts the region as the second poorest in the country despite numerous donor and government interventions.
The funding will be channelled to road construction, water, energy provision and livelihood improvement through agri-business projects.
The State minister for northern Uganda, Ms Grace Kwiyocwiny, said: "Let the programme address the needs of the people. It will be useless for EU to give money and there is no impact. This should be the bottom line. We have to be flexible and account for every single money disbursed for the projects. This should not only be used for paying salaries or holding workshops."
She urged the people of northern Uganda to monitor the projects to ensure zero tolerance to corruption.