Thursday 19 May 2016

ToroDev’s Advocacy forums urge leaders to be exemplary in monitoring government workers'

Mr. Mukwano Ssenyonjo the coordinator of Peoples Rights and Forum for Development, a forum initiated by ToroDev to increase people’s participation on governance and demand for accountability from leaders  the call while appearing live on ToroDev’s supported ‘Listeners’ program’ that is aired live every Sunday 8:00pm-10:00pm on Jubilee radio. Mr. Mukwano requested all stakeholders to increase advocacy through talkshows & physical meetings to sensitize citizens on their roles and the roles of their leaders.

 Mr. Mukwano who was in studios together with Ms. Alice Kabagogya from a local NGO, Kabarole Research & Resource Centre discussing a topic; Absenteeism of health workers’, what is the role of the community  called for a collective voice as citizens through identifying our challenges and making plans to advocate for them. He said we need to appreciate the outstanding workers in all sectors so as to motivate them and also to encourage others to work hard.

Meanwhile Ms Alice Kabagogya lamented on what the government works are doing on jobs they humbly applied for where absenteeism, moonlighting, corruption, negligence, etc have resulted into the death of some people who come to seek for services especially in health centers. Ms Alice said Ugandans have lost lives due to absenteeism of health workers and if we as citizens have not or do not plan to do anything about absenteeism then we have a gap as monitors of these health workers. She further said that absenteeism is as a result of low and sometimes no monitoring from leaders and she advised  citizens to address issues that affect our communities whenever we get chance to meet our leaders other than talking other issues that do not address community problems.

The live discussion on 15th May, 2016 as usual was also attended by Listeners who were given time to call inn and send sms during the discussion; ‘’public servants in Uganda get low remuneration which does not motivate them to be committed to their work hence spending some time in other works in order to supplement their merger earnings from government’’, Said Monica, a caller from Rwengaju, Busoro sub county in Kabarole district, ‘’ monitoring and supervision of workers is very important in government entities and our leaders should immediately initiate and be exemplary’’, said Edgar Mugenyi a caller from Kyegegwa district.

The 2 hours live discussion program was moderated by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred Abooki for Jubilee radio.

We are grateful to our development partners SIDA, NED, SPIDER & ICT4DEM for the support.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Nderema Grand Association Advocacy forum monitoring health services

Nderema Grand Association Advocacy Forum was initiated by ToroDev to advocate for improved service delivery & to sensitize communities on good governance & accountability in Kyegegwa district. In partnership with ToroDev since 2013, the forum has been monitoring health services in the district to strengthen the voices of local citizens for improved health service delivery & accountability.

About 86% of communicable diseases in the district are as a result of poor hygiene among the communities being triggered by limited access to safe water which is evidenced by having the safe and clean water coverage in the district at 37%. Most schools, health centres including Kyegegwa health centre IV lack access to safe and clean water, a problem which has extended to patients and caregivers walking long distances to access water. Mothers who deliver at the health centre take a day or two without washing their beddings and the newborn babies which exposes them to danger of acquiring infections.
Mothers admitted at the Maternity ward at Kyegegwa Health center IV

The health centre IV has installed tanks but they lack gutters to harvest water and have broken taps which makes the health facilities like latrines not cleaned on a daily basis as it is required because of water shortage.

A non functional water tank with no gutters & tap on one of the health center buildings
Nderema Grand Association from it’s monthly meetings being supported by ToroDev have further identified the problems and plans to repair the taps, provide gutters to harvest water, sensitize citizens including the health centre management on the importance of keeping health facilities clean to solve the problem of communicable diseases which can actually be prevented in the district.

Advocacy forum members in a meeting with district health officials
''We thank ToroDev for the continued support towards improving the health conditions in the district and we pledge as a forum to continue doing health advocacy and to communicate the outcomes to the district leadership using physical meetings and other social media platforms to improve hygiene and reduce communicable diseases in the district’’, said Mr. Nduhura Phenahans the  coordinator of Nderema Grand Association Advocacy forum. 
''As a forum we aim at improving health services, water & sanitation, planning and budgeting through advocacy and in  collaboration with local leaders for better health services in the district'', said Bosco Tumusiime, forum member.

The monthly meetings are held with support from ToroDev, SIDA, NED, CIPESA, SPIDER, and Nderema grand association advocacy. We thank all the development partners for the support.

Monday 16 May 2016

ToroDev’s post election skits calls for peace building

Uganda has just concluded the general elections 2015/2016, and the president has been sworn inn and by end of May 2016 the parliament will have followed suit ready to take their roles as peoples representatives.
 Following a series of interviews done by ToroDev under the rural radio debate segment, where we mainstream the participation of grassroots’ citizens especially women and the youth who in the past had ignored the election of leaders which contributed to having incompetent leaders leading to poor service delivery, most of the women we talked too acknowledges having participated in the recent general elections by choosing their leaders without any influence from their spouses or any other person. This is credited  to the regular mobilization of electorates through ToroDev’s electoral civic education platforms including; radio talk shows, electronically pre-recorded Art/drama documentaries like skits and jingles that were being run on 3 radio stations detailing the rights and responsibilities of every citizen to actively participate in elections right from registration, nominations and campaigns, elections and post-election process that are aimed at bringing fairness and peace in the country/region.

However some districts in the Rwenzori sub region including Kasese and Bundibugyo have had post-election violence that has claimed the lives of a number of people hence need to continue mobilizing people with the message of fairness and being peaceful. To affect this, ToroDev has continued to produce skits/documentaries which communicate messages of reconciliation, fairness, and peace building so that citizens can be able to be productive and leaders work towards improving service delivery in communities.

The skit/documentary  runs for  30 minutes and is played on the 3 selected radio stations before and after the ToroDev’s supported radio programs /talk shows where a number of leaders, CSO’s with a component of peace building have been hosted of the talk shows to convey messages of peace to our people in the region.

‘’We need to immediately start the process of healing and reconciliation in our people and this can be done by our leaders’’, Said Mr. Mutabingwa Joseph from Rwenzori  Forum for Peace and Justice (RFPJ) while being hosted on ToroDev supported ‘Listeners Forum’ program that is aired live every Sunday 8:00pm-10:00pm on Jubilee radio.

‘’ Let us use a regional and participatory approach involving all stakeholders to address the issue of post election violence in Rwenzori region’’, said Ms Monica Basemera a caller from Kabarole district while participating live during the peace building talk show on KRC Fm ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ program that is aired live every Wednesday 8:00-10:00pm & is supported by ToroDev.

We are grateful to all our development partners; SIDA, NED, SPIDER, CIPESA & ICT4DEM for the financial and technical support

Thursday 5 May 2016

Leaders urged to begin the healing and reconciliation process in order to build peace in the region.

About 1000 people are living in a camp at Bubukwanga in Bundibugyo district as a result of the post election conflicts that emerged after the February general elections. This was said by Mr. Mutabingwa Joseph from Rwenzori Forum for Peace and Justice (RFPJ) while appearing live on TooroDev supported ''Listeners forum'' program that is aired live every Sunday from 8:00pm -10:00pm on Jubilee radio.

Mr. Mutabingwa also said that we have people not only from the affected districts but from other districts country wide who lost elections after even selling their property and talking sharp words on their opponents on radios and we do not know what those people are thinking. we therefore need a process of healing and reconciliation in our people and we request our leaders to begin that process immediately. Mr. Mutabingwa further said that we need to set goals to achieve our mission we have for the Rwenzori region and Uganda as a whole to make them better places to stay.

The 2 hours live radio discussion on Post election violence in the Rwenzori region was also attended by Hon. Enock Byakagaba the Councilor elect for Baazar ward in Fort Portal municipality who said that much as there has been actions taken to silence the conflict by a number of actors, some issues are not well attended like involving victims of the conflict and their relatives and  addressing the problem from the scene not meeting selected leaders in hotels which does not give other community members chance to share what they are thinking.
Mr. Byakagaba appealed to all stakeholders to mobilize ourselves to build a better and conducive environment where there is no division of citizens based on tribe, religion, clan, color, language, etc.

Mr. Mukonyezi Winfred Abooki, the Moderator of Listeners Forum Program on Jubilee radio
Callers were given time to participate in the discussion through call-ins and Sms platform, these are some of their comments;
‘’ We need to use a participatory approach where everyone has to be an agent of transformation including churches, mosques, government, Civil Society Organizations, etc if we are to build peace in our country’’, said Kemigabo Monica a caller from Busoro Sub county in Kabarole district, ‘’we should learn to live with other cultures and actually appreciate them in order to learn from their best practices for development. We therefore need tolerance and dialogue in dealing with conflicts’’, said Hon. Muntu willy a caller from Ntoroko district, ‘’ let the people involved in solving the conflict go and meet from the exact place where conflicts started than seating in hotels because more information in relation to what may have caused the conflict can be got from other community members’’, said Paul a caller from Bugaki sub county in Kyenjojo district, ‘’ We appreciate the efforts done by ToroDev to keep the populace informed, however I think we need to use regional approach involving all stakeholders to address the issue of post elections in the region’’, said John Kahunde a caller from Bukuku in Kabarole district.
The program was moderated by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred Abooki for Jubilee radio.

We are grateful to all our partners SIDA, DRT, NED, SPIDER, CIPESA & ICT4DEM for the support towards the running of these programs on radios.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

On 27th April 2016, ToroDev M&E team Held an Evaluation Talk show on KRC Fm

For the last 10 months ToroDev has been  partnering with  KRC FM, Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe program  every Wednesday from (08:00Pm to 10:00Pm ) with an aim of  using radio talkshows for  public accountability for improved service delivery in Rwenzori Region Western Uganda under  SIDA, SPIDER, ICT4Dem ,CIPESA, DRT, WOUGNET  and , Indigo trust NED Projects  and Supporting a democratic space to improve public service delivery through 2015/2016 general elections in Uganda under NED project.

For ToroDev program to plan for the next four months the evaluation talkshow had to be held, to effectively collect and analyze information from the listeners about a program’s activities, outcomes, challenges, and solutions to the challenges and way forward. The main purpose of the evaluation was to help to make judgments about a program, to improve its effectiveness, and/or to inform programming decisions. The evaluation talkshow was attended by Sheila Amanya M&E Officer and David Kugonza documentation and communication officer ToroDev and moderated by Kaahwa Kansengerwa Abooki.  

ToroDev staff  during an Evaluation Talkshow
“As ToroDev’ programming team we are holding this evaluation talkshow to plan with our listeners, to know what they want to hear in the next four months, to know which leaders they want to engage in the radio debate, and to have exchange of information between all stakeholders and ToroDev team to help us determine plans, needs, challenges, changes and future plans that help in demonstrating the program’s successes or progress.” Said Sheila Amanya M&E Officer ToroDev.

Sheila added guiding questions were given to the listeners to help in getting the necessary information these included; What predicted and unpredicted impacts has the program had to you listeners since 2015?, Are the radio talkshows making a difference in your community?,  Which kind of issues do you want us to discuss,  Which people do you want us to host?, Is the time we use to run the talk show enough to air out people’s concerns? , How can we improve women’s participation? etc

The one and a half hours were given to callers to call in and send in SMS to share their issues that can help us plan for the next four months as ToroDev holds radio talk shows for improved accountability and service delivery. Over 30 listeners from Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Kyegegwa, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo districts participated through calling-in out of 30 callers who called in 6 were women.

Kaahwa Kansengerwa the moderator of 'Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe' on  KRC FM
These talkshows have wakened the sleeping leaders because they hint on those who are inactive and they come back to their senses”. Said Scovia from Harukoto, Kabarole district during the evaluation talkshow on KRC Fm
“We are courageous and brave enough , to face any leader whenever we want to ask them for accountability, we are now sensitized due to these talkshows thanks to Torodev for the development and educative programs”. Said Shafic a caller from Kyenjojo district during the evaluation talkshow on KRC Fm

Local leaders of all levels have been hosted and we have heard them give accountability and we also participate in these debates, so they have been a very good platform to engage leaders in lively debates”. Said Annet a caller from Kyenjojo district

“We appreciate ToroDev for sponsoring the talkshows; they have done us great to keep shaking our leaders. The talk shows have awakened the inactive leaders to check themselves and start working”. Said Friday Swibu a caller from Kigarare , Kyenjojo districts during the evaluation talkshow on KRC  Fm

The construction of the road is going on in Harugongo Sub County I believe due to the efforts of radio talkshows, because these issues have been discussed on many talkshows". Said Chris a caller from Harugongo in, Kabarole District, during the evaluation talkshow

 “Leaders of all levels from LCI- , LCIII, LCV, MPS and even the President should be hosted in the next talkshows to present their work plans to us who voted them, this will help us to task them after 2 years”. Said Stanley a caller from Kabarole district.  

 ToroDev should continue injecting more money in these talkshows because the radio talkshows have empowered us local citizens with information and knowledge to know how to demand public accountability for improved service delivery from the leaders we elected, this has enabled us to keep monitoring on the leaders”. Said Tusime from Mugusu, Kabarole district.

The live   radio programs are proudly sponsored by ToroDev in partnership with SIDA, NED, DRT, CIPESA, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, JUBILEE RADIO, HITS FM and KRC FM.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Roles of lower local leaders towards improving service delivery

Electoral reforms play a big role in informing and guiding people of their duties and responsibilities in a country but sometimes the government does not take time to acquit the citizens of what exactly should be done.

The constitution of the republic of Uganda 1995, under the national objectives and directive principles of state policy, objective 29 (a) states that; it shall be a duty of every citizen to be patriotic and loyal to Uganda and to promote it’s well-being, (c) to contribute to the wellbeing of the community where citizens live and (f) to promote democracy and the rule of law.
In a bid to solicit for the majority support, the promises made by candidates in the last general elections in Uganda are quiet many. Some will be implemented and others will not but the issue remains, it is the role/responsibility of every responsible electorate to keep demanding from their leaders for improved service delivery. 
ToroDev in partnership with local radio stations in the Ruwenzori region has continued to sensitize the citizens on their roles as well as educating them on the roles of elected leaders.

Kaahwa Kansengerwa the moderator of 'Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe' on KRC FM
On 20th April 2016 on ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ program on KRC FM a live radio talk show that runs every Wednesday 8:00pm-10:00pm, we sensitized citizens on the roles/duties of local council leaders.
’ Leaders at lower local councils especially councilors are supposed to collect citizens view for example from the parish level to the sub county and then to the district council. Once they take them to the district council, they are supposed to bring feedback to the electorates on the council decisions’’, said Mr. Ssenyonjo Mukwano, the leader of Mugusu people’s forum for development.

‘’ When we elect leaders, we put them at the fore front of other electorates so that they are able to change the situations in our communities especially in situations where citizens feel marginalized. For example the chairperson LC 111 has the capacity to mobilize electorates in the sub county for a positive change’’, said Mr. Rwaheru Gilbert the leader of Kicwamba advocacy forum.

The two (2) hours live radio discussion as usual had participation of listeners who called inn and others sent sms to share their views  during the program; ‘’it is unfortunate some leaders just seat in offices and watch things happening unexpected, we need to keep reminding them of their roles and put them on pressure to work for the betterment of our communities’’, said Beatrice Tuhaise, a caller from Harugongo in Kabarole district, ‘’Area councilors and chairpersons’ supervision play a big role in uplifting the standards of community members. This means that if a leader is active to know what & how something is happening, that community cannot remain the same’’, said Mrs Mugisa Grace a caller from Bugaki in Kyenjojo district, ‘’Our leaders need to learn to befriend citizens especially the youth who are unemployed in order to mobilize them for development engagements and they can use the office of community development officers to sensitize them on how they can improve their living standards to be responsible citizens without waiting for gifts in form of soap & sugar for exchange of a vote’’, said  Mr. Muhenda Sam a caller from Kakabara in Kyegegwa district,’ToroDev should continue injecting more money in these talkshows because the radio talkshows have empowered us local citizens with information and knowledge to know how to demand public accountability for improved service delivery from the leaders we elected, this has enabled us to keep monitoring on the leaders”. said Abwooli Omusomesa a caller from Kiguma in Kabarole district

We are grateful to our development partners; DRTNED, SPIDER, SIDA, ICT4DEM, & CIPESA for the support towards keeping the citizens informed through social media platforms.