Monday 30 January 2017

Education officials urged to work with parents to improve education standards in the district

The education standards in the district face a number of challenges which should be a responsibility of all stakeholders to work together to attain the common objective. Our schools have poor infrastructure, high dropout rate, human resource challenges, lack of parents support, etc which affects the performance of these schools. These and more were said by Mr. Mutalesa Joseph a lecturer at Uganda Pentecostal University when  he was hosted alongside Trevor Nyemera the vice chairperson Kiguma parish & Enock Byakagaba a councilor representing Bazaar ward, South division in  Fort Portal municipality to analyze the recently released Universal Primary Results (UPE).
The panelists were hosted on 22nd January,2017 during the ToroDev supported weekly radio program ‘Listeners’ forum’ that is aired live every Sunday 8:00pm-10:00pm on Jubilee radio in Fort portal.

‘’Our leaders, parents, teachers, school management committees and all other stakeholders need to work together if we are to improve our education standards in the district’’, said Mr. Mutalesa Joseph.

‘The poor performance in schools especially government aided school cannot be blamed on government alone, however pupils walk long distances to access schools and also attitude of parents towards education. We need to look into all other factors contributing to poor performance and then get a lasting solution to the problem’’, said Enock Byakagaba the councilor representing Bazaar parish in Fort Portal Municipality

Mr Nyemera Trevor the vice chairperson Kiguma parish said; there are many challenges leading to poor performance of our pupils for example parents who are not supporting their children by availing scholastic materials, non performing SMCs, mentality of parents and guardians who say education is free, absenteeism of teachers, inadequate human resource, un favorable government policies, etc all have affected the education sector. We need to lobby all the stakeholders to work as a team to look into the issues of education and then get a lasting solution.

                                           poor infrastructure in primary schools
                                 The number of pupils in a classroom may demotivate teachers

We call upon government & other stakeholders especially SMCs to intensify monitoring & supervision in schools, motivation of teachers especially reducing the number of pupils in a class to at least 60 which is also against the minimum standards of education which requires a teacher pupils ratio of 1:45, unfavorable government policies of automatic promotions, etc which have all compromised the standards of education in schools.

 Callers got chance to participate live to the discussion and these are some of their comments; ‘’our teachers in government aided schools are not well motivated, they get little pay on top of working under harsh conditions compared to private schools, something needs to be done by the government to avert this’’, said Benon Makanika a caller from Hakibaale in Kabarole district, ‘’government should look at the aspect of motivating teachers alongside paying them well, this will improve the standards because teachers will be committed to work hard’’, said Patrick Amanyire a caller from Ruteete in Kabarole district, ‘’parents need to change their attitude to support their children in accessing education if we are to take a step in as far as education sector is concerned’’, said Annet a caller from Kyenjojo, ‘’school management committees & PTA members need to be vibrant in doing their roles & responsibilities, this will intensify supervision on school heads& teachers hence improving performance’’, said Good Life a caller from Bunyangabu County in Kabarole district

We take the pleasure to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support to run these programs.


Tuesday 17 January 2017

ToroDev Held Evaluation Talkshows on Hits Fm and Jubilee Radio on 14th and 15th January 2017 to reflect on the performance of the talkshows and plan with the listeners

ToroDev M&E team held evaluation talkshows to reflect on their performance receive independent feedback on the relevance from listeners; know their effectiveness, efficiency and consistency. The evaluation was carried out to enable the organization to learn internally by involving the primary stakeholders to give in their views and comments which can provide a learning room to improve the objectives of the radio talk shows.

Evaluation was held to gather information from the primary stakeholders, to measure to what degree the intervention was implemented according to the plan and how the intervention was received by the participants. These measures are typically the outputs of the activities; analyze information from the listeners about outcomes, challenges, solutions to the challenges and way forward. The purpose of the evaluation will help to make judgments about a program, to improve its effectiveness, and or to inform programming decision”. Said Amanya Sheila M&E officer ToroDev.

Shiela Amanya ToroDev M&E officer during the talkshow

Sheila added, the evaluation also aimed at knowing whether the aims of the radio talkshows have been achieved, what learning has taken place, and how. The team was to track what impact have the radio talkshows caused to the listeners and to their lives, their work and to their relationships to others, evaluation  provided the basis and information  for improvement, to determine the needs for modification and ultimately to lay the foundations for future planning.

The evaluation talkshows aimed at investigating whether the time, funds & efforts ToroDev invests in radio talkshows is worth it, collecting information from stakeholders on how to improve our radio programs, ascertaining whether ToroDev has achieved its intended outcomes from the talkshows, tracking impact and also identifying challenges and way forward. Said David Kugoza Documentation and communications officer ToroDev

David Kugonza ToroDev Documentation & Communications officer at Jubilee radio during the talkshow
 Much of the time was given to callers to call in and send SMS to share  their issues that can help us plan for improved accountability and service delivery.

During the evaluation talkshows, over 40 people called in and 25 sent SMS on Hits Fm and about 50 people called in during Jubilee radio evaluation talkshow. On Jubillee Fm out of 50 callers who called in 9 were women and listeners who called in were from the seven districts of the Rwenzori Region.  These are some of the issues the callers raised and commented;

The radio talkshows have increased participation of duty bearers of all levels  to give accountability for improved service delivery, at least a big number of MPS, district chairpersons & councilors at district & sub county levels have been hosted live which has improved the level of transparency”. Said,   Kamara   a caller from Kasunganyaja , Kabarole district during the radio talkshow on 105.6 Jubilee radio. 

There has been increased participation of us (local citizen) on these talkshows this has helped in informing leaders on the state of services in our respective communities and some act according to how we urge our case”. Said Kizito from Rwengaju, Kabarole district, during the radio talkshow on Hits Fm  

Rural debates have done great work in engaging women and their issues are captured, during the talkshow listeners requested ToroDev to hold more rural debates as the only way to bring more women on board”. Said Amanyire James caller from  Kyegegwa district during the talkshow on Jubilee radio.

“ToroDev sponsored talshows should continue bringing  duty bearers on radio programs from sub counties and  districts especially  duty bearers  like member of parliament from Mwenge North and Mwenge  central in  Kyenjojo  district  to give accountability  on what they have done so far and what they plan to do for our communities”. Said Kisembo Tadeo caller from Katooke Kyenjojo during the radio talkshow on 105.6 Jubilee radio
“ToroDev should help to translate the constitution of Uganda in the local languages whereby  right people should come on radio and educate us on what the constitution says about human rights, education, health, marriage, taxation etc”. Said Businge Bashil from Kisomoro Sub county Kabarole district during the radio talkshow on Hits Fm  

ToroDev staff  David Kugonza, Shiela Amanya &Anselm Amanyire at Hits Fm during the evaluation talkshow
“More information  and views should be gathered from the villages because people in villages are suffering a lot, no water, impassable roads, insufficient drugs in the health centers  so  I would suggest that ToroDev radio moderators should capture views from villages and host duty bearers to react on them and find positive solutions” Said Siseko Bagonza caller from Rwengaju, Busoro sub county, Kabarole district during the radio talkshow on 105.6 Jubilee radio
“ToroDev should continue holding accountability meetings in villages and invite duty bearers and technocrats to react on issues that are always discussed on radio talkshows”. Said Rosemary Balinda from Nyabukara, Kabarole district during the radio talkshow on Hits Fm  

“The radio talkskows should provide information related to innovation and entrepreneurship development to the youths and women so that they can develop their talents”. Said Nelson caller from Kyegegwa district during the radio talkshow on 105.6 Jubilee radio
“More duty bearer at the parliamentary level should be hosted with the local citizens to debate together and share issues live on radio and callers should also be involved in this debate”. Said Kahunde Saidat caller from Kamwenge district during the radio talkshow on Hits Fm  

“The radio talkshows have helped us the duty bearers to be very active and communicate to our people, I thank ToroDev for the good work they are doing to inform, educate and sensitive the community on their rights and laws”. Said Hon Roggers councilor Busoro sub county Kabarole district during the radio talkshow on 105.6 Jubilee radio
“More efforts should be put on following up issues that are always discussed on radio and see that positive results are achieved in the long run. So ToroDev should follow every issue discussed here and engage duty bearers to provide services”. Said Gilbert Rwaheru,   from Kichwamba subcounty Kabarole district during the radio talkshow on 105.6 Jubilee radio
The biggest number of callers suggested that ToroDev should continue with radio talkshows they have helped bridge a gap between  duty bearers and local citizens , the communication channel is clear now this has also improved transparency and accountability  hence improved service delivery in one way or the other and also hold community accountability  meetings at parish or sub county levels.
Listeners recommended that the talkshows should continue, the time should be increased  from 2 hours to 3 hours, duty bearers should also be followed up  in case they make  pledges on air, voices played should be responded to by the duty bearers, ToroDev should continue lobbying and building capacities of youths in economic development, more information should be shared on agriculture  development, employment creation, youth livelihood funds, women fund, etc  and more funds should be injected in accountability meetings and rural debates.

We thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA, Hits Fm , Jubilee fm  & all other development partners for the financial & technical support.

Leaders blamed for the under development of their communities

Our leaders can lobby for the development of our communities or retard their development. As electorates we need to engage them and keep them on pressure to make sure they have played their roles especially on what they pledged during campaigns.‘’we need to be responsible as citizens and fight for our communities if we are to realize improved service delivery’’, said Mr. Nyemera  Trevor the vice chairperson LC II Kiguma parish, Bukuuku sub county in Kabarole district.

Trevor said these when he was hosted a long side David Kugonza from Torodev on Jubilee radio on January 8th, 2017 to share issues from his community on the weekly program ‘Listeners forum’ that is aired live every Sunday 8:00pm-10:00pm.

We have many challenges affecting our people on health, education, roads, water sector, electricity, agriculture & governance issues and some leaders are just watching without innervation's something that has retarded development in the sub county. 
  ‘’Our road that connects Kaboyo from Butebe is in a sorry state, Nyakitoojo bridge has made transportation of people and goods  a big challenge,  access to safe and clean water in the sub county is another big challenge, there are no drugs in health centers especially health center 11’s & 111’s like Kiguma, inadequate staff, lack of electricity has weakened economic development in the area and there are many presidential pledges not followed by our leaders yet it is under their jurisdiction’’, said Trevor Nyemera.

Patient Receiving Health Services
Trevor called upon  leaders at all levels to change their attitudes and work to improve service delivery because if roads are made and bridges, people will access markets for their produce hence boosting the economy in the area and trade relations with neighbors, our people suffer a lot especially women who may want to access maternal services, reaching the health centers  becomes a challenge coupled with lack of drugs & waiting in queues for the whole day due to inadequate staffing in these health centers. The unemployed youth who would be starting up small businesses continue being redundant because access to electricity which would be helping them to start saloons is still a challenge. These businesses once started can help to increase income levels at household level hence reducing poverty in communities.
Patients Waiting for Health Services.
Listeners were given chance to participate live on the program; ‘’the issue of stocking drugs in health centers & inadequate staffing should be taken keenly by all leaders at all levels if we are to improve the health sector as a country’’, said  Edward Mwesige  a caller from Bugaki in Kyenjojo district, ‘’we request the district chairperson to support our area with safe & clean water because our children are suffering a lot as well as us adults’’, said Margret Kirabo a caller from Kiguma in Kabarole district, ‘’the president pledged water and electricity for people of Rwengaju parish in Busoro sub county and it is over 8 years now, what are the leaders doing? Are they following the issues or they are not in their plans? We need information on the matter please’’, said Sisoko a caller from Rwengaju in Kabarole district.

We take the pleasure to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support to run these programs.

Friday 13 January 2017

Leaders advised to promote effective supervision in the Health sector

The vice chairperson Local Council III South division Fort portal municipality Mr. Kayondo Henry has called upon leaders in the district and those out side Kabarole to work as a team in monitoring health services to improve the sector. Mr. Kayondo said the sector is faced with a number of challenges including leaders working in isolation yet we are supposed to work with health workers for the development of our communities. The health in-charges, district health officers, health workers & politicians need to support each other especially in monitoring health center II’s & III’s for effective service delivery.

The vice chairperson was hosted on 11th January, 2017 on ToroDev’s supported weekly program ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ aired on KRC FM every Wednesday  8:00pm-10:00pm to discuss  the challenges facing health sector in the district and the role of leaders in addressing the challenges; while addressing on how leaders can address the challenges in the health sector, Mr. Kayondo said leaders are supposed to do supervisory roles, monitoring drugs, absenteeism of health workers, security of people & property, etc. he said once the above are taken in consideration, patients will receive required services and issues of lamenting will be history.

He gave an example of Mucwa & Kasusu health centre III’s in his division where they started a system of motivating health workers by giving them breakfast & lunch while on duty and this has made them become more dedicated to work and also attending to bigger numbers of patients in need of the services on a daily basis. ‘’we thank the village health team (VHT’s) whom we have worked together to reduce occurrence of diseases like malaria, typhoid, etc they have done recommendable work and really supported our communities under the health sector’’, said Henry Kayondo the vice chairperson LC III South division.  

                                        A health worker attending to a patient

Mr. Kayondo added that they empowered health management committees in every health center; we meet with these members, in-charges, nurses and receive reports on the operations of the health centers on a monthly basis. We receive their issues/challenges affecting their work and try solving what we can and what fails is forwarded to the council for further hearing and then a solution is thought at the end of the day. He advised that each health center should have management committee members and these people should be helped to know their roles as far as the operations of the health centers is concerned for effective service delivery.

The two hours live radio discussion was joined by listeners through call-ins & sms platforms; ‘’over 30 people got chance to call-inn & about 15 sent sms messages commenting , giving contributions & sharing experience on the topic. ‘’ our health center is overwhelmed by the number of patients who come to receive services, staff is not enough and this has affected service delivery’’, said Monica Kabanyoro a caller from South division, ‘’when we go for services we are told there are no drugs for how long will this be a problem especially in our health center II’s & III’s?’’, asked Rosette Tumusiime a caller from Kasusu in South division, ‘’ village health teams should be supported in capacity building to know what exactly they are supposed to do regularly & also motivate them with a monthly wage’’, said Bisange Manyindo a caller from Bukuuku in Kabarole district.

We take the pleasure to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial & technical support in keeping our people informed.


Wednesday 11 January 2017

Burahya County Member of Parliament pledges to improve Health Sector

Burahya county Member of Parliament honorable Margret Muhanga Mugisa while appearing live on ToroDev supported weekly radio program “Orukurato” on  7th January, 2017 said we have to work hand in hand with sub-county leaders so as to support youth groups  in order to realize development  in Burahya constituency. She was hosted by the Orukurato program moderator Mr. Kasigazi William on Hits Fm from 8:00-10:00pm to give her accountability for 2016 to the people of Burahya constituency & Kabarole as a whole and also share her plans for 2017

Hon. Margret said we have met youth groups and leaders in meetings on Youth Livelihood Programs in Rutete and Rwaihamba sub counties so that we can empower them with  materials especially  those that are taking part in agriculture sector, we have empowered them with skills & supported them with  watering cans , insect sides, seeds and other support of the kind  which can help them be stable to increase their incomes. Through my lobbying, the office of the prime minister has supported with materials and has pledged to support further with tools aimed at improving youth income especially to rural poor youth.
Hon.Magret Muhanga Mugisa Member of Parliament Represents Burahya Constituency.  
Margret said as a way of creating employment for the youth, we have tried to extend electricity services in places like Mituli, Rurama and Kamigana by putting transformers which can support high population in those villages so that they can help in extension and connections of electricity services in the area to help youth startup small business such as putting in place saloons, wielding, etc.
For the cross-cutting sectors like works, we are working as a team with local leaders to improve the road sector and as we talk we sent a letter to the Uganda national roads authority (UNRA) executive director Allen Kagina and she has offered us tractors to improve our road network in Bukuuku, Kazingo & Mugusu Sub counties which actually some are under construction as we talk now. 
‘’ I have lobbied for an ambulance for Bukuuku health center IV which should be received before the end of this month to ease transportation of patients from hard to reach places in the constituency to attain health services’’, said Hon. Magret  Muhanga.

While sharing her plans for the coming year Hon. Margret Muhanga  pledged to lobby for  improved health services such as improving on the drug stock outs, absenteeism of health workers, supervision of health workers & schools, increased health  equipments for use in health centers, ambulances, etc.  I will follow up the pledges for the health centers from our friends in Canada and Sweden of machines, admission beds & other materials which I believe once received will improve the situation in the health sector. Hon. Margret pledged to lobby for the construction of roads in Kazingo parish to easy transportation of farmers’ products especially those earning a living from the agricultural sector.
The 2 hours live discussion had participation of listeners through call-inns & sms platforms; over 60 callers called-inn to comment and engage their leader; ‘’You have not talked about electricity that the president pledged for people in Busoro sub county, are they in your plans or not?’’, asked Sisoko a caller from Kidubuli in Kabarole district, ‘’Saaka & Kijura roads are menace to us residents especially in rainy seasons are they in your plans before you end your term of office?, asked John Kalinda a caller from Kijura Town council in Kabarole district, ‘’When are we electing local council 1’s & 11’s, we need these people in our communities especially for security issues’’, asked Wilson Habwona a caller from Mugoma in Burahya constituency Kabarole district.

We are grateful to SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support to run these programs

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Village Health Teams and Health Management Committees urged to play their roles in improving Health Services

The Kabarole district health educator madam Catherine Kemigabo has urged political leaders & health workers in the district to build team work while working together if the health sector is to be improved. ‘’our elected leaders, health management committees, health workers should work hand in hand in order to check and resolve some of the challenges in the health sector. The health sector should not be left to trained health workers alone for they may not solely solve the prevailing issues facing the sector in the country’’, said Catherine Kemigabo

Catherine said these while appearing live on ToroDev supported weekly radio program ‘Manya ekiragiro Kyawe’ on KRC Fm that is aired live every Wednesday 8:00pm-10:00pm. While discussing on the topic; Public policy advocacy; what are the challenges on the existing health policies in Uganda? on 4th January,2017 Catherine although the district has tried to train health workers at different levels, preventable diseases such as malaria, worm diseases, typhoid, etc have remained stubborn yet they are supposed to be managed at village level by Village Health Teams (VHT’s) who are trained to bridge the gap between health facilities & households.VHT’s have been empowered and given first aid box to avert the minor diseases and also assist in other community health programs such as family planning & HIV/Aids programs which are still essential to our communities.
The district has empowered them with drugs which can help to treat those diseases. This has helped to support other programs which are beneficial to the community such as family planning and HIV programs which are still essential to our villages and communities.Drugs are supplied in a period of 2 months to health centers by national medical stores and supervised by health management committees, DHO ‘s office & district internal security officer and some drugs are not supposed to be administered or received at say health centre 11’s that is why sometimes patients are referred to health centre 111’s and others go to hospital which creates congestion there because even patients of minor cases needs to be attended at the hospital.
People waiting for health services at a health center.

 Catherine said some members of the health management committees’ needs capacity building training's in order to do their roles well which the district cannot effectively do due to financial implications which remains a challenge. Other challenges include drug stock outs, under staffing, lack of enough drugs, limited supervision of health centers, fully furnished wards for admission, lack of access to water at the health centers, etc. Catherine said if there can be team work between politicians and health workers, threats affecting the health sector can be dealt with hence improving the health services in the district & country as a whole.

A health worker attending to a patient.
 The 2 hours live discuss had the participation of over 50 listeners through call-ins & sms; ‘’VHT’s need to be helped by building their capacity regularly and also storage and transportation facilities need to be checked for effective service delivery’’, said Ms Ayebale Sarah a caller from Rwaihamba in Kabarole district, ‘’our health center11’s are doing nothing on ground because they do not have drugs & even staff members which has made services poor in our communities’’, said Joan Tumusiime a caller from Kabende Sub county in Kabarole district, ‘’how is the process of receiving drugs? Does the DHO request or the national medical stores just delivers? Because we hardly get drugs in our health center 11’s & 111’s, can someone enlighten me please’’, said Dan Bagonza a caller from Rwebisengo in Ntoroko district
We are grateful to SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial & technical support to keep such educative programs running.