Friday 30 September 2016

The mayor Rwebisengo Town Council pledges to solve water scarcity problem

The town council chairperson Hon. Hussein Hamada has pledged to mobilize people in Rwebisengo town council to form groups so that they can benefit from government programs like wealth creation program. Hon. Hamada said this while meeting a team from Toro Development Network (ToroDev) a local NGO operating in the seven districts of Rwenzori sub region and ‘Manya omwebembezi wawe’ talk show moderator on KRC Fm, a local radio station in Fort Portal in Ntoroko district o 19th September,2016.

The team was in the field for post election agenda; where office bearers share their 5 years development plans for the people in their different constituents. This is aimed at keeping track of what the leaders have pledged to do for the people and also keep engaging them on service delivery issues.
Hon. Hussein said the short period spent in office, they have been able to select a water source committee which has undergone training to help on the issue of access to safe and clean water in the area the fact that it is one of the core challenges facing the town council. The mayor added that without a power source, they cannot access water and they are currently working in partnership with Mid western Umbrella to install solar power source so that the town council can be supplied with water.
On the health sector, the mayor said he has come up with names proposed to work on the health management committee and are now awaiting approval from the council and once they are approved, they will monitor the health sector in the town council. He has also secured a security guard to provide security at the health centre for encroachers and animals that graze within the health centre grounds. The mayor said he plans to have a meeting with area members of parliament on the issue of drug stock outs where a lot of drugs get spoilt from the health centre stores due to being provided with drugs that do not  work on the reported diseases at the health centre hence making them non applicable.

Talking on the education sector, the mayor said he has realized that most schools have Board members who have over stayed and cannot perform their duties as expected.  He plans to have new Board members for the schools and also school management committees so that they are oriented on their roles in order to be watch dogs of teachers and head teachers especially those who absent themselves without serious reasons making the schools perform poorly.

On the road sector the mayor plans to implement the available town council plan by opening new roads with in the town council and also mobilizing community members to register their land so that they can acquire land titles to reduce the internal conflicts that come as a result of disagreements on land issues And also working with the media to inform people and account to them on a number of engagements.

During the visit the district councilor and speaker  Bweramule sub county Hon. Muntu Willy told the team that the main problem in the area is scarcity of safe and clean water and they are doing a lot of lobbying to increase access to safe and clean water in the sub county & district as a whole. Hon. Muntu acknowledged the dropout rate in schools and failure of school going age children not attending school. He said they have constructed a staff quarter at Bweramule primary school to solve the issue of teachers’ absenteeism & another staff quarter at Kabimbiri primary school is at completion level & plan to at least get 5 staff quarters with in these 5 years. Pit latrines have been constructed at Haibale primary school & Bugando primary school to improve on hygiene and sanitation in these schools. ‘’we are planning to have monthly exams set by a team of teachers with in the district for our school and we hope this will improve performance of pupils And also we plan to induct the new school management committees of their roles in monitoring schools so that the issue of teachers & head teachers absenteeism is checked.

We are grateful to all our development partners for the financial & technical support towards the sustainability of these development programs. 

Tuesday 27 September 2016

ToroDev in Partnership with Rwenzori Journalist Forum held a one day knowledge sharing workshop with the Rwenzori journalists on post election reporting and broadcasting on 23rd/ September 2016 at ToroDev Resource centre.

 ToroDev in partnership with Rwenzori Journalist forum organized a one day knowledge sharing workshop where 22 journalists mainly the moderators of talkshows and new editors/ reporters from the 10 local radio stations located in the 3 districts of the Kabarole, Kyenjojo, and Kyegegwa and different print and electronic media (New Vision, Daily Monitor, Red paper etc) attended the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Mr Tumwine Henry the lecturer of Uganda Pentecost University – Fort- Portal.

ED ToroDev Mr. Baguma K. Johnstone giving his opening remarks during the workshop
The main objective of the workshop was to share with news reporters, editors, talk show moderators and print reporters the basic skills that will enable them do their watch-dog role in a professional way during post elections period and to empower and orient, share experience with  journalists on how they can engage elected duty bearers and local citizens in fruitful live radio debate, how they will follow up the pledges and promises made by the leaders, how they will hold leaders accountable etc. 
“After this workshop we expect you to clearly identify important issues that need attention during the Post election period, also to have enough improved understanding and knowledge on how best duty bearers can be engaged in fruitful live radio debates and follow up the pledges made by the leaders. Journalists need to be equipped with more knowledge of being watch dogs, good communicators and public educators”. Said Mr. Tumwine Henry the facilitator of the Workshop.
Mr. Tumwine Henry sharing with journalists during the workshop
If you are doing your journalism work and you are always appreciated by the leaders every single day then you are doing a disservice to the community but if you are always appreciated by the community you are doing a big service to the community and you need to keep it up.

 After straight news you need to follow up the stories, the problem you journalists have is you broadcast the story and you don’t follow them up to know what happened next to keep informing the listener, Journalists need to interpret stories in a simple language to the people for everyone to understand, before you close the chapter of the story first make sure you have full information about what you are going to share with others, interpret it well and then explain to people to bring more sense and meaning.

Journalists shared their work experiences and some extracts are shown below;                      

v  As a journalist I was not very sure for the next step after election period.  I was out of ideas , but am happy that this knowledge sharing workshop has opened my mind and I have full knowledge of what Am meant to do during the post election periods”. Said Mwebembezi Fred Moderator of talk show on Gold Fm.

Fred Mwebembezi sharing his experience with other journalists during the workshop

  I confess that I have not been following up the many pledges made by the leaders after  hosting them on live radio debates but this workshop has made me understand that following up issues said by leaders is very important if we are to  make impact at the end of the day.” Said Birungi Robbinah Moderator Kyegegwa Development Radio

v  Through this knowledge sharing workshop I have got to know that we are meant to interpret stories in a simple language to enable everyone understand issues we are broadcasting we need to go deeper and explain these issues as much as we can for example issues related to budgets, laws, roles of duty bearers and others”.  Said Patra Kirungi News editor KRC.

Patra Kirungi news editor KRC Fm sharing her experience

  “Violence, harassment and discrimination against any journalist based on gender, race, sexual orientation or disability should not be tolerated under any circumstances, so this calls upon Rwenzori Journalist forum to be very well organized to fight for the rights of journalist. Editors and news organizations should employ a zero tolerance policy”. Said Tumwiine the facilitator of the workshop.

v  As journalists lets avoid financial arrangements and other activities that will create a conflict of interest with duty bearers we regularly cover or receive other economic benefits from them to make news decisions about them”.  Said Kaahwa Kansengerwa the moderator on KRC Fm.

v   In this post election period, integrity, fairness, independence and transparency are crucial to our work, hence should be considered in all that we do, let us decline gifts or token from the duty bearer, let’s pay for our own meals and transport our selves rather than accepting payment by a source unless circumstances make this impractical”. Said Bamanyisa Patrick President Rwenzori Journalist forum.

 A t the end of the workshop it was recommended that;
        i.            There is need to continue sensitizing and training the journalists in government policies (health policy, agric, education, and finance policy), local government act, the constitution, etc
      ii.            The Journalists need to be highly engaged and kept active through supporting their quarterly knowledge sharing workshops to be organized by Rwenzori journalist forum.

    iii.             They is need for continued sensitization on Ethics and Standards Policy, general reporting standards and   Key Principles in journalism.

 We are grateful to all our development partners for the financial & technical support.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Fort portal municipality Member of Parliament advises fellow M.Ps to lobby through Parliamentary committees

The Fort portal Member of Parliament Hon. Alex Ruhunda has advised his fellow members of parliament especially the new M.Ps to utilize the parliamentary committees to lobby for their constituents. Hon. Alex said given the congestion in the 10th parliament, it may not be easy for one to attract the attention of the speaker of parliament so as to be given chance to talk on the floor of parliament hence need to use other available avenues for lobbying

Hon. Alex said this while appearing live on ToroDev supported weekly talk show on 17th September, 2016 on ‘Orukurato’ program. The talk show is aired live every Saturday 8:00pm to 10:00pm on Hits Fm where different office bearers appear to share their plans for their constituents and also give accountability.

Hon. Alex Ruhunda Member of Parliament Fort Portal Municipality
Hon. Alex Ruhunda shared his plans for the 5 years term (2016-2021) and these included; extending electricity to other parts outside the municipality like Busoro Sub county that is proposed to be added to the municipality and that electricity line will be commissioned before October 2016, Upgrading of transformers to 3 phased in Kabundaire, Kasusu, Kacwamba which is on-going so that business people can have enough electricity to do their work without interference, marketing Fort portal tourism city to the outside world. Hon Alex said in 2001 less than 10.000 (ten thousand tourists) were visiting Fort Portal and now between January 2016-September 2016 already 170.000 (one hundred seventy tourists) have visited hence need to do many more things that will attract many tourists so that we are able to benefit from them as people of Rwenzori region and Uganda as a country.

‘’ I have already talked to Uganda Tourism Board & Uganda Wildlife Authority and we are in plans to build a canopy in Kibaale forest (Sebitoli & Kanyancu) areas so as to tap on the opportunity of tourists who come to see birds in other countries to also come here, through this, we shall be benefiting economically because we shall be the people to provide different services to the tourists’’, said Hon. Alex Ruhunda.

We want to construct a water reservoir and we have already talked to the management of Rwenzori diocese and they have given us land where to construct the water reserve. This will keep our people with an alternative even when National Water and Sewerage cooperation (NWSC) supply is off, we are also working closely with European Union to extend water to areas of Kiko town council/Sub County and work is on-going.

We are lobbying for a modern sewage treatment plant because NWSC is using old ways of treating sewage, we have secured land in Karamaga for the plant and machines are being assembled in India for the work. The sewage waste will be used as fertilizers to help our farmers increase their yields hence developing economically.

Am making consultations on the issue of a Television for Toro and I assure you I will do what it takes to have Toro Television so that it can channel what people of Toro are doing and the beauty of Toro to people outside Toro and in the long run attracting more potential investors to boost the economic sector and also planning Toro conference where we shall seat as people of Toro to share the Vision of Toro and challenges we have so that we are able to find solutions for our problems.

During the 2 hours, listeners participated through call- inns & Sms; ‘’we have on many occasions gone to Buhinga Referral hospital and we have not got drugs, can the M.P lobby his fellow members of parliament for increased budget for the health sector so that people can stop suffering with diseases’’, said Mr. Asaba Mwanguhya a caller from Bunyangabu county in Kabarole district, ‘’there are tribal conflicts like in Kabonero Kabarole district and this has made people move from their areas to other places looking for safety, can our leaders tell us what exactly they are doing to calm the situation’’, said Nathan Bikanja a caller from Kabonero sub county in Kabarole district.

We are grateful to all our development partners for the financial and technical support to keep our programs running.

Monday 12 September 2016

ToroDev’s initiated Rural radio magazines engaging & making leaders accountable

Rural radio magazine is a program ToroDev initiated in Rwenzori sub region where marginalized groups of people especially women and children are reached from their communities to have their voices recorded and amplified live on ToroDev supported radio programs. The voices of marginalized groups are recorded and duty bearers reached to get their responses on the issues raised by these groups of people or individuals. The program has been on-going for about four (4) years to-date and there has been levels of improvement in relation to service delivery as a result of these rural radio debates.

On 3rd September,2016 the moderator of ‘listeners forum’ program on Jubilee radio travelled to Kyegegwa district where Ugandans close to 5000 people were repatriated from Sango Bay in Tanzania and are now settled in Kazinga-Rwentuha in Kyegegwa district.

The camp where about 5000 repatriated Ugandans are living

The only water source for the people in the camp 

This was as a result of the vice chairperson Kyegegwa district and Rwentuha sub county district councilor Hon. Muhango expressing concerns on the situation the people in his sub county were going through when he was hosted on ToroDev supported weekly radio talk shows to share his plans for the people of Kyegegwa and in particular Rwentuha sub county for the 2016-2021 term of office.
People in the camp raised issues of congestion especially as the government plans to share the piece of land occupied by some people already with the repatriated people, access to health service especially for children and women, access to education, entrepreneurship & innovation, etc.
Some people were reached on one on one to share their experiences in the camp and these are some of the concerns  shared; ‘’ the planned move of dividing the pieces of land we have with other people will retard the education of our children because we depend on agriculture to raise fees for them’’, said Rosemary Ndabalenda a citizen in Rwentuha sub county Kyegegwa district, ‘’ School going children are not attending school due to the long distances they have to walk because some of them are still young, we request government to provide accessible schools so that our children can learn and be responsible citizens in future. The water source available is about 4 kilometres away from the camp and it is not safe because it is not clean, this is putting the lives of the people at risk of water borne infections'', said Hon. Hellen Natumanya from Rwentuha.
A concerned citizen reacting during the rural magazine in Rwentuha Sub county

Hon. Hellen a Sub county Councilor from Rwentuha

''Access to health services is a problem here, drugs are not provided and some of the children miss immunization schedules which is a danger to their health, let government plan for us so that we are out of this situation’’, said Mr. Bangirana Godfrey chairperson LC 1 Kazinga central in Rwentuha sub county Kyegegwa district.

During the 2 hours discussion, listeners were given chance to call -in and share  their views in line of the discussion; ‘’ government through wealth creation program gave us seedlings to grow and  increase our household incomes, now they want to divide the little pieces of land we have, how shall we survive as farmers?’’, asked Proscovia Rwitunga a caller from Rwentuha in Kyegegwa district, ‘’ we need people to follow the right procedures to attain what they want as we prevail for them peace & order as the main role of police’’, stated District Police Commander, Afande Joel Tibanone from Kyegegwa.

Participants in the camp during the rural magazine

We are grateful to all our sponsors, donors & partners NED, SIDA, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & Jubilee radio for their continued support both financial & technical to have such service delivery programs run on radio stations.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Sub county chairpersons from Kicwamba & Kabonero in Kabarole district share their plans for the 5 years term 2016-2021

ToroDev through their post-elections campaign where leaders from the seven districts of Rwenzori Sub region are invited to share their development plans with electorates has to some extent made leaders accountable and committed to their pledges they shared during the 2015/2016 general campaigns in the region. The campaign has been on-going since the end of elections on the 3 local radio stations i.e HITS FM, KRC FM & Jubilee radio that partner with ToroDev.

On 3rd September, 2016 Hits Fm through their ToroDev supported weekly program ‘Orukurato’ that is aired live every Saturday 8:00pm-10:00pm we hosted Mr. Businge Charles, the Sub county chairperson Kicwamba Sub county and Mr. Kyaligonza John the chairperson Kabonero Sub county to share with listeners the status of their sub counties and the plans they have for their communities.
Mr. Businge said the few months they have spent in office they have managed to do some work for example Bwanika-Kiguma road has been constructed, Kitarasa-Kicwamba road, Mubuhara-Kyakagusa road and work is on-going on Kagogo-Kiguma road where  first class murram will be put to ease transport of people and their goods. Kagogo-Kiguma bridge has also been constructed and ‘’I request citizens to use these roads to increase their house hold incomes’’, said Mr. Businge Charles Sub county chairperson Kichwamba sub-county.

Mr. Businge further said in the effort to improve water and sanitation in the sub county, the sub county with support of the district has secured 31 million shillings that will provide safe and clean water to Kicwamba Sub County especially in areas of Buhara parish and preliminary work has started on the site where the water sources will be constructed. The sub county has secured computers and solar panels as support from a health organization at the district that is aimed at improving record keeping in the health centers.

In education sector Mr. Businge said 2 classroom blocks have been constructed at Bwanika primary school and more will be done in other schools in the sub county that luck class rooms in order to improve the learning environment of children in these schools. The sub county under the government program of wealth creation has managed to get heifers, mango seedlings, tea seedlings, and we are also focusing on banana growing , all have been distributed to different beneficiaries in our sub-county aimed at improving household income for our people. Much as we are struggling to develop our sub county, we still luck government aided secondary education to support education in the sub county. ‘’We do appeal to the government through our elected leaders to lobby for secondary schools to reduce distances covered by our children in accessing education and also making fees affordable by majority so that our children can attain education’’, said Mr. Businge Charles.

 During the 2 hours live radio discussion, Hon. Kyaligonza John the sub county chairperson Kabonero said Kabonero health centre III has got mattresses and beds in their maternity ward to improve the conditions of women who come to deliver from the health facility. The district has recruited 3 health workers to support the existing staff and also secured computers and solar panels to improve record keeping at the health center.
 In education sector, the sub county with support from RIDE-Africa a local NGO in the district will train school drop-out especially girls between the age of 12-17 years in agriculture and hand craft work. A total of 450 children will be supported with skills and start up capital that will help them invest and run different businesses to improve their incomes and that of their families. Bunyangabu community development will also be sponsoring 5 children from the sub county to attain education at certificate and diploma levels.

Listeners were given time to call in and contribute during the 2 hours of the program through call-ins & Sms platforms, about 50 people called in and some of their contributions include; ‘’the health centre still has challenges like absenteeism of health workers and insufficient drugs, let our leaders lobby government to avert the issues’’, said Micheal Kikora a caller from Karangura sub county, ‘’ Teachers are absenting themselves from schools due to little and delayed salary payments, please help us otherwise the education standards in the sub county are dropping’’, said Margret Kazairwe a caller from Karangura in Kabarole district.

We thank our Sponsors, Donors & Partners for the financial and technical support to keep our leaders and listeners engaged especially through the use of ICT tools to improve service delivery.

Friday 2 September 2016

District chairperson gives accountability for 100 days in office

The district chairperson Hon. Richard Rwabuhinga while appearing on ToroDev’s supported ‘Orukurato’ program that is aired live every Saturday 8:00pm-10:00pm on Hits Fm said together with his council, he has embarked on looking for donors to support the merger funds in the district to support different sectors in the district aimed at improving service delivery to the people of Kabarole district.

 Hon. Rwabuhinga on 27th August,2016 while on Hits Fm acknowledged that through his effort, Save the children has accepted to start a project titled ‘Youth in action’ that will focus more on school dropout especially children between the ages of 12 and 17 years. These children will be trained in vocational skills and after the training they will be supported with start- up capital to help them put the skills into practice through which they will earn a living.  The beneficiaries of the program will be got from 6 sub counties of Kabarole and training facilitators have already been secured.

Hon. Richard Rwabuhinga, District chairperson Kabarole
During the 2 hours discussion Hon Rwabuhinga further said that the district with support from METs a new health organization in the district has received solar panels & computers to help the health centers concentrate on case surveillance. The 19 computers & solar panels will benefit Kicwamba, Kabende, Nyabuswa & Kisomoro health centers and also Fort portal regional referral hospital.
He said the district is in talks with the same organization for a Nutrition project aimed at reducing the level of malnutrition in children that affects growth and performance of children in our communities. The project is aimed at supporting 100 schools including St. Peters and Paul primary school, Ngombe Primary school, Kinyamasika Primary School, etc. This will help to improve the standards of the people in the region, and it will help to put in place school gardening in schools for children & care givers to get diet in their meals.

The district chairperson further gave the plans the district is working on in these 100 days of office for example; extension of water sources to Kiko town council in parts of Kanyambeho, Muhonde, etc and the engineers are now surveying where the pipes will pass & building town council offices, the two projects will cost 2.4 billion shillings. UNICEF has also promised to fund water projects in Kanyanswiga & Kasenda sub counties, we are going to construct Kitarasa-Kiburara bridge, electricity poles are already in areas of Kitarasa, Karago & Karambi, we hope once we extend electricity there, people will set up income generating businesses to help them improve their livelihoods, said Hon. Rwabuhinga Richard, the district chairperson Kabarole.

Listeners were given chance to participate in the live program through call-ins & Sms; About 50 people called in and others sent Sms ‘’The chairperson has not included Rubona Sub county in the plans for water extension and yet we are lacking safe & clean water, let him think about us also’’, said Margret Timbigamba a caller from Rubona, Kabarole district,  ‘’Thank you ToroDev for the programs where leaders are giving accountability regularly, this will improve efficiency & service delivery in our communities’’, said Musa Alinaitwe a caller from Kyegegwa district, ‘’our roads have improved due to the programs on that radio station, for example in Harugongo we hard shoddy work and when we appeared on that radio things changed for the better, thank you management and ToroDev for the support’’, said Apollo from Harugongo in Kabarole district through an Sms.

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