On 15th, 16th and 18th December 2016, ToroDev held rural radio magazines/ debates in three districts of the Rwenzori Sub Region to capture issues and concerns of rural women, youths and Duty bearers from hard to reach areas of Myeri village , Katooke sub county, Kyenjojo district, Katebwa sub county, Kabarole district and Kahunge sub county in Kamwenge district.
“The main objective of holding rural radio magazine/debates is to amplify the voices/concerns of rural women and youth from very hard to reach communities who are also unable to appear on FM radio platforms for talk shows which are always aired late in the evenings yet women have other responsibilities in their homes the issues are later played on radio for the attention of duty bearers to respond”. Said Amanya Sheila M&E officer ToroDev, during the rural radio debate in Myeri parish
Sheila added a rural magazine/debate is a concept that was birthed after realizing very few women were participating in live radio talkshows. There have been limited women, youth, local and technical leaders’ participation in the live radio discussions, and this has been a problem with capturing issues from women and youth who live in hard to reach areas. During the debate, the main focus is put on women where women’s voices are captured and thereafter amplified on radio.
|Shiela Amanya ToroDev M & E with some Women & Youth during the Rural Radio Magazine field visit
“The focus areas where debates are held are mainly very remote areas with poor essential service delivery cases in all 7 districts were given first priority. Participants selected are mainly 80% rural women and youth in those areas and 20% technical leaders (head teachers of government schools, in-charge of health centers, OCs of police stations, & local leaders are also involved in the debate”. Said Mukonyezi Winfred the coordinator of rural radio debates/ Magazine
Winfred added the recorded voices are amplified live on Jubilee Radio, articles posted online (listeners forum face book page & ToroDev blogs), Phone SMS, calls used for mobilization. Radio debate; topical issues are raised on radio where citizen engage the duty bearers.
|A woman in Myeri village sharing her concerns with Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred during the rural radio magazine
The people’s issues are amplified live on Jubilee radio on 18th, 25th December 2016 and 1st January 2017 during the ‘Listeners Forum’ program that is aired live every Sunday 8:00-10:00pm for the duty bearers’ intervention.
“Health workers come to health centers at 10am and leave at 2:00pm you can’t access them the whole day, the worst of all they don’t attend to all the patients who come very early to be treated”. Said Mbabazi Saida during the rural radio debate in Myeri parish, Katooke Sub County, on 15th/12/2016
“At Kibatee Health Centre 11 the nurses are 11 in number but they dodge serving us, they always absent themselves from work every single day and this affects the patients who come to seek medications from the health centre this is very frustrating because it has put women and children to a great risk of dying and walking miles to access medication elsewhere”. Said Yoneki Kitahire from Katebwa subcounty
“There is only one maternity ward in Myeri health centre, this can’t handle the big number of women who come to the healthy centre to give birth we request the leaders to help us and construct more maternity wards for our women.” Said Kobugabe Abwooli From Myeri , Katooke subcounty Kyenjojo District
“The number of pupils in classes is overwhelming and this has brought issues with poor quality education in UPE schools, one teacher is handling over 80 pupils, this teacher is over stressed, he /she does not get time to mark the class work of all pupils, pupils do not even concerate since they are very congested in class, we ask the government to help and support this our education system in Myeri villages health centre”. Said Kajumba Margaret from Myeri
“We don’t even have a secondary school in this parish our children walk miles to access secondary schools in Katooke town council and Kyenjojo district, they wake up when it I still dark at night and trek miles to get to their schools on time, the Government should help us and get us one secondary school.”. Said Kembabazi Mary from Myeri.
Mary added the Nurses refuse to work on pregnant women whenever they come without their husbands every single time they go for antenatal checkups , this is very disturbing to carry our men over and over instead of them being left at home taking care of the farms and family , they come with us every singe time we go for antenatal checkups, this is not really fair, I would suggest we go with our men the first time and the last time so that we don’t waste time both of us.
“More still the roads are in sorry state, impassable with lots of potholes this causes transport to health centers to be very expensive and this has forced women to go away with visiting the health centers for checkup as required which puts their lives at risk and women shun to go to deliver from health centers. Said Rwaheru James of Kahunge Kamwenge District during the rural radio magazine.
James added more still the roads are in sorry state, impassable with lots of potholes this causes transport to health centers to be very expensive and this has forced women to go away with visiting the health centers for checkup as required which puts their lives at risk and women shun to go to deliver from health centers” said Happy Medius a resident of Biguli during the rural radio magazine.
“It’s very unfortunate that the nurses at Kibate health centre are absent today after even holding a meeting with them yesterday to question and warn them to stop absenting themselves from work, I will handle this urgently and visit the health centre to find out why the health centre was closed at 12:00pm”. Said Mwogere Eria the LC III Katebwa Sub County during the rural debate
Eria added we always encourage husbands to support their women during the nine months of pregnancy, this will help the ladies to deliver health kids without stress, so we thank ToroDev for supporting us and supporting of ladies from hard to reach areas.
“I plan to visit the health centre of Myeri and find out why nurses come late and leave early, I will also find out whoever harasses the patients and talk to authority over the issues raised by the women”. Said Rebecca Muhindo Woman councilor Myeri Parish
The women who participated in the rural radio appreciated ToroDev for reaching them on ground to capture their issues and they pledged to continue listening to the radio talshows and contribute where necessary
During the 3 rural radio debates/ magazines over 95 women from hard to reach areas showed their outcry over the poor service delivery in health centers, education, roads sectors and entrepreneurship development and asked for support from their leaders.
The rural radio debates/ magazines are supported by NED, ICT4Dem 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 issues in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.
We are grateful for this meaningful work.