NORTHERN UGANDA: The Arua City Youth Council has passed a resolution to disband the management of the multi-million dollar one-stop youth center. Youth leaders say the center’s management didn’t keep track of the money it made and mismanaged a centre meant to help young people.
Over the years, the centre has been under the management of former Arua Municipality Youth Council leaders. During their first-ever youth council sitting held on Saturday, the youth leaders agreed to take over the management, which they say is the only viable option to save the facility that has been lying idle for years.
Favourate Edeti, the Arua City Youth Council Chairperson, said their priority as youth leaders in the city is working towards taking full ownership and management of the facility. He says that the things that are being done at the facility don’t serve the purpose for which it was built.
Simon Enatu, the male youth councillor for Arua city council, welcomed the move, saying the centre has been lying idle for a very long time.
The Shillings 80 million centre was built in 2014 with UN-Habitat assistance to provide youth and children with information and services on reproductive health, sports, and culture.However, some rooms were rented out to private firms.
The centre also lacks running water, electricity, computers, and staff to manage it. Judith Drate, the Principal Community Development Officer at Arua City Council, says that the absence of a governing council has made it difficult to solicit funds from donors to run the facility.
Geoffrey Edema, the senior community development officer of Arua city, has challenged the youths to be united if they are to properly manage the centre.
During the third council sitting of the first session of the first Arua City Council meeting held in August 2021, the council passed a resolution to place the management of the one-stop youth centre under the control of the Arua City Council. This hasn’t happened.