The Iteso Welfare Association (IWA) is to build a multi-billion shilling hospital in a site yet to be decided in the Teso sub-region. There will be a fully-fledged association launch on December 20th next month, in which there will be a ground-breaking ceremony for the hospital.
At a meeting last Saturday in Kireka, a Kampala suburb, the “non-partisan, non-religious and non-profit” IWA, launched the Teso Health Appeal (THA), fund-raising drive, to attract donations, locally and abroad, for the construction of the 40 billion-shilling hospital.
The THA was spearheaded by an IWA interim committee, headed by Tom Okelloto, a Kampala businessman. The meeting later elected the interim members for a three-year term. IWA will comprise the Executive, a Board of Trustees and a Council of Elders.
In the keynote address, on the “Significance of Tribal Identity and Role of Unity as a Driver to Success”, another Kampala businessman and an interim organizer, James Oromait, lamented the disunity among the Iteso. He said that they “are so disunited and disoriented that, even when they are ministers, they are disappointing.”
This complaint was echoed by other speakers in the conference that included: former Serere District Woman MP, Alice Alaso; the Chairman of the Health Commission, Prof. Pius Okongo; former Spokesman for the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fred Opolot; former Chairperson of the Uganda Amnesty Commission, Winfred Adio; the Executive Officer of the Pilgrim Purse, Solomon Osia; Assistanf Commissioner in the ministry of Public Service, J.J Ettedu; Nursing Officer, Grace Apio; and, businessmen; Peter Ongaria, Okello Ateker, among people others other disciplines.
But all agreed that despite the shortcoming in which Teso is lagging behind the rest of Uganda by up to 30 years, if they congregate and get united, they can reverse the trend.
In constant impassioned references to the verses in the Bible, Oromait said the IWA has given them the opportunity to set direction, pronounce themselves and mobilize funds from the many skilled Iteso in other countries. “Where there is a will, there is a way,” he added.