Monday, 17 February 2014

“Our roads are only used by bicycles because they are very poor”, Kisembo Clovis

On 30th January 2013, local people of Biguli Sub County in Kamwenge District showed their outcry over the poor service delivery in their Sub County. This was during the rural radio debate conducted by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred, a moderator of the Listeners’ Forum’ on Better FM, a radio discussion sponsored by ToroDev. “Our roads are so poor that they are used by bicycles only, such roads include Kazinga- Kyenjojo road, Kazinga-Nkoma road, among others”, said Kisembo Clovis, “We have only Biguli Health Center II in the whole sub county which even lacks enough equipment”, said Tusiime Joseph, the Chairperson LC III of Biguli Sub County, “We have only one secondary school in the whole sub county, most students walk long distances to access the school”, said Mrs. Kahubire, “Our harvests are sold at poor prices due to the poor roads”, said Yakob Tumwine.

The people’s issues were run on Better FM radio on 2nd February 2013 during the ‘Listeners Forum’ 8:00-10:00pm for the local leaders intervention. The live radio discussion was also attended by Hon Birungi Godfrey, the District Councilor of West Division, Fort Portal Municipality, Hon Asaba Paul, the District Councilor of Kyegegwa District and Mr. Mukwano Ssenyonjo, the Chairperson of People’s Rights and Forum for Development in Mugusu Sub County, Kabarole District.

The Listeners' Forum Face Book Page
During the discussion, Mr. Mukwano indicated how rural radio debates had done a great work in attracting leaders’ intervention. “Rural radio debates have created a quicker way of attracting local leaders’ intervention into people’s issues most especially those leaders who mistake advocacy forums of being political groups. Such leaders tend to quickly intervene when they hear people themselves bring out their outcry about the poor service delivery”.

Hon Birungi also participated in the live radio discussion by indicating the high rate of corruption that is affecting proper service delivery. “Some leaders sabotage funds meant for implementing services, Kagote Seed – Mpanga Bridge road was constructed badly by the contractor who bribed other officials to work on the road sub standardly and divert some of the funds for their own purposes”.

Meanwhile, Hon Asaba highlighted the poor service delivery in Kyegegwa District. “Only 7 (seven)million is allocated to Kyegegwa HC IV on a monthly basis for purchasing drugs, but the medicine gets finished within three weeks due to the high population. Shoddy work was also done at Kidindimya Primary School on the construction of staff quarters. The contractor also stole some of the equipment like doors, windows and the water tank”.

Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins to raise their issues and concerns. "What do local leaders think when people cry over poor services?", asked Latiff from Mugusu Sub County, "The problem with our leaders is that when they reach office, they forget about lobbying and delivering better services", said Mugabe Robert, "Local people should not depend on free education but should rather invest in their private schools if they want good results".

The rural radio debate is supported by NED and SIDA/CIPESA on a project aimed at using radio and social media to improve the participation of marginalized population groups of rural youth and women in governance in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.


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