Energy Ministry hands over business startup kits to Hoima refinery affected people

By Sierra Ruth Arinaitwe

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development represented by the Minister of State for Minerals Hon. Peter Lokeris has handed over certificates and business startup kits to 79 graduates from the communities who were affected by the construction of the oil refinery in Hoima District.

The skills training is recognized by government as one of the methods that will transform the people’s livelihoods –register economic growth and national development . Minister Lokeris said that the training was aimed at equipping the youth with skills that will support them with livelihood restoration.

The graduates took part in a three months skills training facilitated by Buwoden Hands on skills training centre and they were assessed by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT). The courses that were under taken by the graduates were selected following a series of meetings with all the  stakeholders to ensure that they would be useful to the community.

Among the courses conducted included; fashion and design which 19 graduates, welding with 21 graduates, hairdressing – 10, bricklaying- 7, computer training- 13, carpentry with 6, and catering with 3 graduates. Each graduate received a well-equipped business startup kit according to their respective category.

While handing over the startup kits, Hon. Lokeris told the graduates not to sell the startup kits but rather to use them to support their families. “The knowledge you have received will help sustain you for a lifetime, use it to develop your families, communities and the country at large,” he said.

He further called upon the district leadership parents and all stakeholders to continuously give the graduates the necessary support to help them transform their families and community.

Pius Rujumba Wakabi, the Member of Parliament for Bugahya County in Hoima districtadvised the graduates to organize themselves in groups and take advantage of government programs such as the Emyooga project.

“The groups will help you attract investments and benefit from government programs to help you grow your businesses,” he said as he promised support to the organized groups from the graduates’ cohort.

The skills training is part of the livelihood programmes targeting the project affected people (PAPs) in Buseruka Hoima.

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