Tuesday 15 August 2017

ToroDev in partnership with Rwenzori Rural and Urban Development organization (RUDO-UGANDA) carried out monitoring exercise to find out the state of service delivery in Education, Health and Economic development sectors in Karangura Sub County.

Rwenzori Rural and Urban Development organization (RUDO-UGANDA)  operates in  7  sub counties of  Bukuku, Kichwamba, Katebwa , Kabonera , Harugongo, Karago, and  Karangura  with a network of 2- member organizations  spread in the 7 mentioned sub counties focusing on Human rights,  good governance, education, health and economic development as key focus areas.

In the month of June RUDO with support from ToroDev visited Mahyoro P.S, Nyakitokoli P.S, MT Gessi P.S, Nyarukamba P.S under the education sector, Nyakitokoli HCII under health sector and under economic development visited families that benefited from Operation Wealth Creation program in Karangura sub county.  

The main concern of the field exercise was to know the status of service delivery in the selected schools, health centre and in economic development programs so as to present the finding to duty bearers during accountability meetings and petitions and also use the findings to lobby and advocate using physical platforms and other ICT tools like radios to improve service delivery.  
As outputs, Four (4) schools, one (1)   health centre II and some families that benefited from operation wealth creation programs were visited also way forward set to address the key challenges identified from the three (3) sectors.

There are some key findings discovered including; SMC & PTA are not all active and this has caused poor planning, monitoring and accountability in the visited schools, Minimal absenteeism of teachers and ability to give assignment to learners and mark it. ‘’In Mahyoro p/s because we have been following them as a forum, there is improved participation of community members in supporting schools programs because they have been sensitized and empowered by the radio talk shows and other platforms supported by civil society’’, said Vincent Kule RUDO-Uganda  chairperson.  There is a big gap discovered at MT Gessi P.S where out of seven (7) members of staff non is female hence making it difficult to handle issues of the girl child.
In Nyakitokoli HC11 staff absenteeism is high, there are no enough drugs, the health unit does not receive PHC funds to help the health unit with community program like immunization, there is a nurse patient ratio of 1:1000, no beds, kitchen, washing room, laboratory etc at the health centre. On operation wealth creation (OWC) plans, budgets and priorities are imposed on the farmers , the farmers have no bargaining powers , farmers do not participate  in planning processes, funds allocated and released  are not shown to farmers, extension workers do not reached farmers to equip them with farming skills , late supply of seeds, inadequate supply and the distribution criteria is influenced by politics.

 Among the outcomes, on 5th/7/2017 a community engagement meeting  with local leaders was organized by RUDO in partnership with ToroDev and KRC where district duty bearers were hosted to address key findings discovered during the field activity carried out by RUDO.“We organized a meeting and called district chairperson Kabarole, RDC, DHO, LCIII and district and sub county councilors   to address the findings discovered. We are happy that change has already taken place for example at Nyakitokoli HCII where old staffs were known to be off duty daily, new staffs have been brought and introduced before the community members, construction of the road to ease movement of people and goods  and the Health centre has been upgraded to a HC III from II”,  Said Kule Vincent forum leader.

Action plans and recommendations’ were brought up in that meeting especially supply of enough drugs to handle the big numbers of patients who come to seek for health services at Nyakitokoli HC11, increasing incomes of community members by mobilizing them to benefit from OWC and also recruiting other health workers who can handle patients are some of the issues which RUDO forum is following up.
We take this opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, and CIPESA for the financial and technical support.

Friday 11 August 2017

Women encouraged to embrace Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP) to improve their incomes for positive impact at house hold levels.

Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP) was established in 2015 by the government of Uganda with an aim of providing a special fund to cater for women's business projects in order to improve their betterment and emancipation and to promote access to appropriate technologies for production and value addition among others. 

On 9th August 2017 Miss Kobusinge Diana the Karambi Community Development Officer and UWEP leader Kabarole district was hosted live on ToroDev supported program to give light and educate citizens about Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP).

Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP) is a government initiative which aims at improving women’s access to financial services, equip them with the skills for enterprise growth and marketing of their products and services to help then raise income at household levels. Women are availed with interest free funds that can help strengthen their enterprise at household, village and sub county levels”. Said Kobusinge Diana UWEP leader Kabarole district.

Additionally the funds supports women aged from 18yrs-65 years who are low income earners with low, small and medium enterprise through giving group financial support that can help to boost their projects and generate more incomes to fight poverty at house levels. The funds are accessed through women groups ranging from 10 to 15 members especially focusing on unemployed women, single young mothers, widows and disabled.  

This program reaches to women from hard to reach areas at sub county level  to enable them  begin their own income generating activities and have to generate  more incomes. However the main challenges affecting UWEP in Kabarole district includes; mismanagement of funds, late funding and diverting funds from registered projects to other personal projects. 

I advise all women groups who received funds to work together to develop the registered projects. I further  recommend that sub county duty bearers, women sub county council, and village chairpersons should get involved in supervising and  monitoring these groups  if positive results are to be achieved by the women.  

During the 2 hours live discussion 35 people called in to contribute to the live radio discussion and these were some of their views; “What does it cost for someone to get UWEP funds”. Asked   Briton from Kijura Kabarole district during the radio talkshow.
“Does EWEP funds have interest rate, what does it take for women to qualify for these funds.  Asked Asuman from Rwimi Bunyangabu district.
"What is the duration of funding back the money? Asked Mugurusi Kanyambeho from Kabarole district. It’s important to note that these questions were fully addressed by the panelists during the radio talkshow. 

We take this opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, and CIPESA for the financial and technical.

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Youths urged to organize themselves in groups to benefit from Youth Livelihood Program

Youth Livelihood Program (YLP) is a government financed program that targets to support the poor and unemployed youths in all the districts of Uganda. The Program aims at poverty eradication and employed creation among the youths.
“The project was introduced by Government to support youths with funds/start up capital for skills development and job creation by starting their own projects to generate income and eradicate poverty. Uganda has implemented a number of programs aiming at creating employment specifically for youths that can enable them live in a successful environment and create jobs for themselves basing on funds, skills and requisite knowledge from those programs since the highest percentage of youths are unemployed” .Said Mr. Mugisha David the Kabarole district community development officer (DCDO) during the radio talkshow on KRC on 2nd / 8/2018.

David added, the funds are advanced to the Youth livelihood groups with a minimum number of 15 members and they are supposed to be from the same village for easy monitoring and supervision.

The challenges affecting Youth livelihood program in Kabarole district are mainly mismanagement of funds which has been a threat for the past 2 years. This has contributed a lot in failing youth projects because sometimes youth plan for project A but when they receive funds they opt for project B which was not fully researched and planned for hence causing shortages and in the end result failure by the group to pay back the funds to be accessed by other groups”. Said Cris Aliganyira, the Kabarole district youth chairperson.

During the radio talkshow the panelists recommended that as Kabarole district more youth groups should be encouraged to apply for funds and more supervision should be done on a monthly basis.
They further recommended that group members should be reduced to the minimum of 6 members so that the funds they allocate to those groups can create an impact towards development and this program can be successful through engaging sub county officials like chiefs, security officials, LCI chairpersons, sub county youth leaders among others to supervise youth projects the projects on ground.
All these happened on KRC Fm a local radio station in Fort Portal where discussions on existing policies and their applicability in Uganda are discussed every Wednesday 8:00pm-10:00pm on ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ weekly program supported by ToroDev.

During the two hours live discussion, more than 30 people called in and this is what they had to say;  ‘’The program should consider all youths not only the poor this will help all youths to benefit”, said Moses a caller from Kyangabukama, Kyenjonjo district.
“The project coordinators should always release finances early to enable groups to plan early and engage in their projects in time”. Said Sengendo Tadeo from Kanara, Ntoroko district.
“Supervision of groups should be increased so that money received is not diverted to other activities this will help groups on performance of groups and sustainability”. Said KK Francis from Bukuku, Kabarole district.

We take this opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, CIPESA & all our development partners for the financial and technical support.

Friday 4 August 2017

Live radio discussion/debate on Land policy and rights in Uganda

 Land issues have been a big concern in Uganda due to high increase of its demand. Land being an important asset puts everyone on tension to find all means of acquiring a piece of land. The live discussion was held on  30th/July/2017 on ToroDev’s supported weekly program ‘listeners forum’ that is aired every Sunday 8:00-10:00pm on Jubilee FM and the panelists were Mrs. Hope Bagota Tuhairwe a lawyer from Uganda human rights Fort-Portal regional office and Johnstone Baguma Kumaraki executive director ToroDev. The discussion focused on land policy, land rights” and the ongoing land issues in the parliament of Uganda where there are proposed amendments on Land law that seeks to provide a compulsory acquisition of land by government for development purposes.

In 1998 the government of Uganda passed the land act and amended it in 2010 but nothing big has been followed when it comes to land acquisition, sale and wrangles that are going on in the whole country a lot needs to be done with educating citizens on the land act”. Said Mrs. Hope Bagota during the live radio discussion on Jubilee radio. 

Hope added that land ownership is categorized into four systems namely Freehold, Mailo, Customary and Leasehold; these systems explain how land is owned and how it guarantees citizens on the use. As a human rights defender I advice people with land issues to report to authorities like sub county land committee so that the issues can be solved and reported to the district land board.

Uganda as a country need to think critically before amending the land law, according to the Uganda constitution every citizen has a right to property where land is one of them and everyone is free to access it.  The government should amend the law to protect people’s rights on land issues and duty bearer should orient, sensitize and educate people on land issues and the Land act. Said Johnstone Baguma executive director ToroDev

Johnstone added that there are issues on land which need to be scrutinized before any amendment of land bill is passed in parliament and since land is a very sensitive matter, citizens rights should be respected without causing misunderstandings. The constitution is clear that the land owner should be fairly compensated in case government or any other institution wants to use the land for development but what is proposed here is government compulsory acquiring ones land and then compensate later. There is need for the government to consult citizens on land issues something that has not been fully done. This will help the smooth flow of government projects and the national Land board should establish and maintain a reliable and user friendly Land Information which can help in planning on national development projects. Said Johnstone ED ToroDev.

During the two hours more than 40 listeners called in where the majority was men and these are some of the issues they raised “The government and duty bearers have failed to protect people and their properties, they should consider people’s ideas towards amending the land law since they are affected mostly most of the time”. Said Julius a caller from Bugaki Kyenjojo district.
If everyone has a right to property why is it that the government and national land board have failed to first hear the concerns of the citizens but consider their own wishes, we request our members of parliament to work for people they represent and defend them”. Said Mugarra a caller from Kabarole district. “Members of parliament should come on ground and tell people more about land issues before the law is amended”. Said Kaahya John from Kabarole district.

We take this opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, and CIPESA for the financial and technical support.