Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Rwenzori Rural & Urban Development Organization (RUDO-Uganda) in partnership with ToroDev and KRC organized a public meeting to allow citizens present their concerns to duty bearers.

On 5th/07/2017 Rwenzori Rural & Urban Development Organization (RUDO-Uganda) RUDO in Partnership with ToroDev and KRC organized face the citizen’s meeting at Hamabale village, Karangura sub county in Kabarole District to bringing top duty bearers both political and technical together to hear and respond to the concerns of citizens aimed at finding solutions to the challenges/concerns from community members as a way to improve service delivery.

The meeting came up after ToroDev conducted a rural radio debate/magazine in Karangura Sub County in the month of April 2017 where citizens raised their concerns and when the voices were amplified live on radio, duty bearers were listening and were touched by concerns of the citizens who complained of the poor service delivery in Karangura Sub County. After the broadcast of the voices the district chairperson contacted the leader of RUDO through a cell phone and requested him to organize a meeting in order to get a platform to address some concerns for positive actions.
Community members & duty bearers listening to comments from CSO's
The meeting was attended by 320 people who included community members, CSO’s, duty bearers both political & technical that included among others; LCI, LCII, LCIII, parish chief, sub county & district  councilors, district chairperson, Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and media.

“In the month of March we carried out a simple research as a forum to know the state of service    delivery in the Health, Education, Water, Roads and Economic development sectors, where we found out that services in the above sectors are in a sorry state, we decided to request for a rural debate which was held in April 2017 and the voices of citizens were amplified live on radio which captured the attention of duty bearers and requested for this meeting”. Said Mr. Kule Vincent, the Chairperson RUDO

Vincent added that the key challenges shared during the rural radio debate/magazine included; absenteeism & late coming of health workers at Nyakitokoli HCII, limited drugs at Nyakitokoli HCII, Poor performance in government primary schools, Impassable roads with lots of potholes, lack of clean and safe water in the sub county etc and today we are here to listen to what our leaders have to say as we find a solution to address these challenges.

“In Karangura sub county we have five (5) government aided primary schools but last year we got only one 1st grade out of hundreds of pupils that sat for primary leaving examination (UNEB) this shows that education standards are still very low in our sub county and we have (1) secondary school which performs very bad with no first or second grade for many years now”. Said Joshua Magezi, a member of RUDO while presenting the issue paper at Karangura Sub County.
Joshua from RUDO presenting the issue paper before duty bearers
 Joshua added that poor performance  is due to late coming of teachers, absenteeism of students,  overcrowded class rooms which do not allow learners to be comfortable while studying, PTA and SMCs are not active to  play their roles and responsibilities, poor inspection of schools from DEOs office and political leaders, etc I call upon duty bearers present today to address these challenges for a better Karangura.

“I request duty bearers to work on Kihondo - Kazigo road which is impassable during rainy season and this road is a busy one connecting to other areas, dear district chairperson  I am happy that you are here kindly find a way to address these challenges”, Said Erisa the chairperson local council one (LC 1) Hamabale village.   

Area LC I Erisa & Chairman LC 111 sharing with community members during the meeting

“I appreciate responsible citizens who have boldly stood to speak on behalf of others however, am here in the capacity of DHO because he is the one who sent me here to address concerns raised regarding the health sector especially on Nyakitokoli HCII, first of all I want to assure you that  by next week all staff of Nyakitokoli HCII  will be transferred and new staff will report on duty  by next week, you will receive a new  In-charge and as the office of DHO we shall monitor regularly the performing of these people who are coming to make sure they provide health services as required by people in this Sub county and promise you that we shall sit in a meeting  as health department  to find  a solution to each challenge raised and soon we shall give you a feedback through RUDO and ToroDev”. Said Catherine Kemigabo the Kabarole District Health Educator (DHE) during the meeting.
Catherine Kemigabo the district health educator (DHE) responding to concerns from the Health sector
Catherine added, I request everyone to respond positively to health activities that are going on in the district, like sleeping under mosquito net, testing for HIV, drink boiled water, pregnant mothers to go for antenatal checkups and use of family planning. Use any available avenue to inform us where you need our support as a district.

The following were the action points and commitments by the leaders during the meeting.
The sub county chief and chairman LCIII committed to provide Seven hundred thousand (700,000/=) to murrum Busoma-Hamabale road within a period of four (4) days. We are happy to report that construction of the road began two days after the meeting on addition to pledging to monitor s/c projects, schools and the health centre, follow up the construction of the bridge connecting Bulera to Butulya zones, purchase of an attendance book for health workers which will be kept at designated place to check the attendance and reporting & leaving time at the health facility.

The RDC ordered police to start arresting health workers who report late and leave early, he ordered the LCI to always work with police to monitor heath workers, and he pledged to work with the district authorities to follow up presidential pledges as presented in the citizens’ petitions. The RDC ordered for immediate arrest of people without toilets residing near the health unit, the arrest of children attending markets during school days/hours and immediate arrest of two (2) teachers who have continued earning tax payers money without working. These teachers are from Kibyo p/s and Kamabale p/s.
The district Woman councilor representing Karangura Sub county responding to some of the concerns during the meeting
 Kabarole District chairperson during the meeting assigned the sub county chief Karangura and Town Clerk Karago to murrum, Busoma-Hamabale road within 4 days, he committed to construct Butulya bridge, construct classrooms in the most affected schools in the  next financial year 2017/18 and also  lobby for upgrading of Nyakitokoli HCII to HCIII in the next financial year so that it can be equipped  with enough human resource, maternity ward & enough drugs to handle the big numbers of patients who come to seek for health services . He also promised to secure funds for water project in the next next financial year, secure Government Aid for St Joseph SS-Karangura and send 3 heifers to Karangura Sub County under operation wealth creation to increase incomes of community members aimed at development of the Sub county.

“We are grateful that our efforts of presenting petitions, organizing rural radio debates, attending radio talkshows and mobilizing citizens for this meeting have not been in vain, already the road is half way constructed and men are still at work. New staff at Nyakitokoli HCII will report this week on Thursday of 13th July. We very much appreciate our partners ToroDev and KRC for the financial support”. Said Kule Vincent RUDO Chairperson.

As ToroDev we thank all our partners SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA for the technical & financial support and also the advocacy forums we work with for the advocacy & monitoring work done in communities.

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