ToroDev has highly been involved in mentoring and supporting the initiation and strengthening the newly formed advocacy forums to champion the monitoring of service delivery and democratic engagements through the use of appropriate ICT tools in the seven districts of the Rwenzori Region. The advocacy forums are community’s own initiated initiatives meant to sustainably monitor and advocate for improved service delivery, and demand accountability from the local leaders.
Advocacy forum members of Better Life Youths Forum in Butiiti Sub County, Kyenjojo District have tasked their local leaders to extend water services and a latrine to Butiiti Health Center III. “For a long time, the Sub County has been allocating money for water extension but no action has been done. The health unit holds over 150 patients who survive on dirty water from the well. This has caused stinking especially in the labor ward because patients cannot wash their beddings and clothing. The health unit also lacks a toilet and patients have resorted to using the surrounding bushes as toilets which is likely to cause cholera outbreak. We went ahead to approach the Chairperson LC III of Butiiti Sub County Mr. Amanya Joseph about the issue and he assured us that the Sub County was soliciting funds to solve the problem”, said James Kisembo, a forum member.
Members of Katebwa People’s Forum have also been involved in advocating for better service delivery in their Sub County especially in the roads sector. “We have been struggling with transport due to the broken bridge of River Nsongya that connects to all the villages in the Sub County. This has highly been affecting our businesses since 2013 when the bridge was washed away by the heavy rains. With the help of ToroDev, we went on radio and shared the issue during the ‘Listeners Forum’ Program and appealed to the local leaders to intervene. This caused pressure on the leaders and as I talk, planning of the construction has started”, said Muhindo Ezra, leader of Katebwa People’s Forum in Katebwa Sub County, Kabarole District.
Atura Nagyayo Advocacy Forum in Kakabara Sub County, Kyegegwa District has also gone ahead to mobilize the community in improving and maintaining the services provided. “We mobilized a community meeting on 23rd February 2014 to discuss about the construction of the broken bridge of Kikuba. During the meeting, community members made a budget of Shs.5,000,000(five million shillings) for its construction and the budget was submitted to the Sub County, District and office of the Member of Parliament who responded positively. Community members were also requested to contribute Shs.3,000(three thousand shillings) per male person towards the construction and as I talk, one million has already been collected and we are expecting the local engineers to start constriction at the end of March 2014”, said Musinguzi Mesaki, the secretary of the forum.
However there is need to conduct more sensitization meetings with members of the rural advocacy forums/rural monitors to empower them with skills to skillfully engage with their local leaders for improved service delivery.