Advocacy forums that were formed by the 120 rural monitors who were trained by ToroDev in online advocacy, monitoring service delivery using on line social media/ICT tools like Ushahidi platform for on line documentation, visualization and mapping have continued to act as watch dogs on monitoring service delivery and demanding accountability from the local leaders to their sub counties and also raising voices of the voiceless grass root people. The advocacy forums are community initiated and members of the forums also use FM Radio Broadcasting as an ICT tool for convergence since it is the most accessed media channel in the Rwenzori Region.
|The poor roads in Kicwamba Sub County, Kabarole District|
Members of Kicwamba Forum for Development and Service Delivery in Kicwamba Sub County, Kabarole District are following up the issue of poor roads in their Sub County. “We are following up the issue of Kagogo-Hagombora Road and the road that leads to Bukuuku Sub County headquarters which have been neglected by the district local government. We have to make sure that we share this issue on radio and how it is affecting our businesses, and also appeal to our concerned local leaders to intervene”, said Gilbert Rwaheru, the leader of the forum.
Rural monitors of Kamwenge District are also following up the issue of poor roads in their district and appealing to the local leaders to intervene. “Kamwenge – Fort Portal road is impassable in the rainy season, the journey that would take an hour takes five hours. This is so sad and frustrating to the people who are in business, they pay high transport fee, their lives are at risk and the journey that takes too long also affects their businesses in the long run”, says Robert, a rural monitor from Kamwenge District.
|culverts exposed to cracks due to eroded soils on Kahompo Bridge|
Meanwhile, members of Bufunjo People’s Forum in Bufunjo Sub County, Kyenjojo District are also following up the issue of Kahompo Bridge that was constructed badly. “We are following up the issue of Kahompo Bridge where shoddy work was done and we shall be presenting a petition to the District LCV of Kyenjojo on Friday 25th October about this bridge which is affecting transport and business activities in Bufunjo Sub County”, said Mwesigye Andrew, the leader of the forum.
Members of Ntoroko Citizens Concern in Ntoroko District have also been sensitizing the local people about the role of education. “We have done a great work in the month of October to sensitize people about the role of education and why local citizens should keep their children in schools, we sensitize them on the benefits of our children attaining education”, said Byaruhanga Amos, the Chairperson of the forum.
Rural monitors of Kyenjojo District have also used radio programs to lobby for better agricultural services in Bufunjo Sub County. “The sector of NAADS is now performing better in Bufunjo Sub County due to ICTs”, said Tibeha John Bosco the secretary of Bufunjo People's Forum in Bufunjo Sub County, Kyenjojo District.
However, there is need to conduct more sensitization/accountability meetings with members of the rural advocacy forums to empower them with more skills to skillfully engage their local leaders for improved service delivery. There is also need to scale up the lobbying and advocacy campaigns especially using on line tools to influence both local and national policies regarding accountability, fair budgeting and service delivery monitoring.