Moroto, (UG):- Minister of State for Minerals Peter Lokeris has applauded Sunbird Resources Ltd for fulfilling their promises to change the social status of the region through both their corporate social responsibility activities and through the establishment of development projects such as the clinker factory.
Mr Lokeris said RUCODET, the Rupa Community Trust calculated the surface rights that were paid hence clearing the entry of the investors into the land. He hailed West International Holdings for having come to invest in Karamoja saying they are partners towards the transformation of the economy.
Hon. Peter Lokeris was speaking at a brief ceremony in which Sunbird Resources Ltd, a subsidiary of West International Holding company donated a brand new state-of-the-art ambulance to the Rupa Community Development Trust (RUCODET) on behalf of the Rupa community.
The event, held in the presence of district leaders and stakeholders, marked an important milestone in the region’s development and showcased the commitment of both Sunbird and the government to uplift the lives of the people in Karamoja, which has seen the community receive student education fees and bursaries support, among others. The company is set to construct a Health Centre III as part of community development efforts.
At the ambulance donation ceremony, Hon. Peter Lokeris expressed his satisfaction with the value addition from stones to cement, emphasizing the importance of processing raw materials.
He also highlighted the fulfilment of Sunbird’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through the donation of the ambulance, which will bridge transportation gaps in the healthcare sector.
In September last year, President Museveni, who commissioned the groundbreaking ceremony expressed his desire for all individuals in the Karamoja sub-region to benefit from the ongoing industrial development.
Sunbird’s investment in clinker production is expected to save Uganda 380 million US Dollars in imported clinker while creating employment opportunities for the locals.
The Moroto District Woman MP, Hon Stella Atyang commended Sunbird for paying surface rights and commended RUCODET for managing resources effectively.
Ms Atyang urged investors to contribute to the education of Karimajong children, emphasizing the need for employment opportunities and proper training to ensure job retention and delivery.
Dr. Lemukol James, the District Health Officer – Moroto, acknowledged the negative effects of mining on human health and the environment, calling on investors to prioritize the well-being of the community. He expressed gratitude for the ambulance donation and emphasized its vital role in improving healthcare accessibility and reducing existing gaps.
Sunbird Director, Mr Ambrose Byona, expressed his commitment to transforming Karamoja and requested support from the government and local communities. He highlighted the importance of providing the right personnel and a conducive environment to facilitate the region’s development.
Mr. Byona also confirmed that the ambulance, costing UGX 266 million, was just the beginning of Sunbird’s contributions to the area saying in verbatim; “We made several written and unwritten promises and we will deliver on all.”
RUCODET Chairman, Mr John Logwee said that the trust entered into a surface rights agreement where among others, Sunbird agreed to build a fully equipped health centre III and a school.
“Today we witnessed the handover of a brand new ambulance,” Logwee noted, adding that it’s an indicator that what we agreed will be delivered. John Logwee expressed confidence that Sunbird would deliver on its promises, and he requested the district leadership to provide a qualified driver for the ambulance. “This donation is a timely intervention and we extended our deep gratitude.”
RUPA LCIII Chairperson, Otita Joseph, emphasized the unity of the Matheniko community and expressed gratitude for the ambulance, stating that it would benefit all communities in Matheniko and Karamoja.
The ambulance, valued at UGX 266 million, will serve a community of over 30,000 people, addressing the transportation challenges faced in the healthcare sector.
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