Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nyakiyumbu Anti poaching Group reaps big from the seed Capital



RWECO  has supported 12 community based organization with micro grants of Ugx. 1,000,000/ to promote food security and economic empowerment for the women and vulnerable groups.  The main purpose of the seed capital was  to mobilize and build the capacities of ordinary men and women of Uganda to engage in livelihood improvement processes and activities with a view to reducing poverty at household, community and national level.  Key enterprises that the CBO’s are involved in among others include poultry farming, coffee farming, goat keeping and village savings and lending.
Nyakiyumbu anti-poaching group selected goat keeping as the major enterprise to promote increased household incomes and a total of 10 goats were distributed to 10 beneficiaries of which out of 10 goats, 6 kids have been delivered and distributed to six other beneficiaries.
The group has been keen on spending money on feeding the goats and as a result the members have planted elephant grass as terraces to prevent soil erosion on their Gardens as well as provide pasture for their goat keeping project. Also to prevent Malnutrition and ill health of their children the group members have been   embraced the idea of growing Kitchen gardens so to provide vegetables to supplement the meals.
I was also amazed that the CBO has integrated savings and credit scheme whereas the members convene the neighbour hood assembly they hit two birds with two stones by saving money that will help to support their families by proving education and health care. The group currently has
Nyakiyumbo group is composed of 30 members who seat every last of Wednesday of the month to discuss issues affecting service delivery in Nyakiyumbu Sub County. Among the key things that they are proud of as a neighborhood assembly they advocated for a market in Mushenene  market where they can be able  to sell their produce instead of travelling long distance to Kinyamaseke which about 18 kilometers to reach. An access road from  Kalongire to Kibara has been opened as a result of the continued advocacy for access road.  The CBO is leading a campaign against illegal poaching in Queen Elizabeth National park.
Indeed as  Farijallah the leader of the CBO communicated “Development is as a result of what someone keeps thinking about” therefore  it important for someone to be a custodian of his/her own development. His key recommendation for a successful enterprise project was for groups to copy good practice and learn from the bad ones as well as involving family members in project as well strive to be exemplary in whatever you do. This if taken up by all CSO’s poverty will be a history in Rwenzori Region.
RWECO is implementing a Citizens Manifesto in Action project supported by Oxfam Novib and Hivos. RWECO is also a member of CEWIT that Coordinates the project in Uganda covering 25 districts in 5 regions of Rwenzori, Teso, West Nile, Central and Acholi regions. Other partners in the project are: CEFORD, ACORD, PAC-U, DENIVA all targeting 12 CBOs per region. About 60 CBOs are benefiting from the project using the same model of Neighborhood Assembly as the entry point.
Bravo NAPA

By Sheila K
RWECO



 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CSOs advise on budget 2014/15


 The year 2014 has been a break through for the Civil Society to engage with Government of Uganda to demand for a pro-poor budget 2014/15. During the Budget Conference held on 15th April, 2014 at Uganda Manufactures Association Conference Hall, Kampala, where RWECO was represented by the Coordinator. The Theme for the CSBAG Budget Conference was: EVERY SHILLING COUNTS: ARE THE BUDGET PROPOSALS FOR THE FY 2014/15 EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT TO DELIVER US FROM POVERTY. The Chair was Dr. Ezra Suruma, former Minister of Finance. Participants were drawn from the rural country side unlike those from the urban based, and among the MPs in attendance were: Hon. Dorothy N -Woman MP Kamwenge, Hon. Ruth Achen, Koboko. The Conference highlighted issues of locating the vulnerable groups in the 2014/15 budgets which theme RWECO had initiated in the Rwenzori Region and supported three districts of Kamwenge, Bundibugyo and Kyegegwa to come to Kasese district where special needs education is supported by the District Local Government

 
Dr. Ezra Suruma, giving a note address at the CSBAG budget conference on 15th April, 2014




Hon. Dorothy N, Woman MP, Kamwenge District, listening to a participant who questioned                                                   parliaments role in the budget process


Why are the vulnerable people? one of the participants at the CSBAG Budget Conference on 15th April, 2014, questioning parliament whether the PWDs are part of the budget if they can not even have a vote on special needs education?
 RWECO must be applauded for initiating the discussions on locating vulnerable persons in the local government budget. CSBAG has taken the discussions to parliament and to question whether  the medical staff are trained in sign language.

Related story below

By PAUL TAJUBA

Posted  Wednesday, April 16  2014 at  01:00
Kampala.
Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), a collection of civil society organisations in Uganda, have urged government to increase the fight against corruption if the proposed 2014/15 proposed budget allocations are to benefit the rural poor.
Speaking at the budget debate yesterday in Kampala, CSBAG coordinator Julius Mukunda applauded the government move to increase budget allocations to key economic sectors such as agriculture, health, water and environment, and works and transport but called for tighter measures to curb corruption if the allocations are to reach the beneficiaries.
“A lack of political will has crippled our anti-corruption institutions thus undermining any efforts towards fighting corruption. Government must fight corruption if rural women and men are to benefit from this budget,” Mr Mukunda said.
However, Mr Moses Sonko, the representative of the Finance ministry, said the government is on the right track towards curbing corruption, listing the different organs fighting the vice but said the oversight role belongs to all Ugandans.
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

Accessed on Wednesday 16th April, 2014 from:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/CSOs-advise-on-budget/-/688334/2281034/-/4dt0jlz/-/index.html 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Parliament plans to raise MPs’ pay


 By Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Wednesday, April 2   2014 at  01:00

Parliament.
Each Member of Parliament will have their salaries increased by Shs11 million annually if the Treasury okays a request by the Parliamentary Commission.
The request for an extra Shs43 billion is captured in the Budget Framework Paper, a blue-print for the 2014/15 budget. Whereas Shs19 billion had been provided for salaries, the Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirige, has written to the Finance Ministry saying the amount is not enough.
She said the extra money is needed because Parliament will start consolidating MPs’ pay in the new financial year. In the new arrangement, both salaries and allowances for the 386 MPs will be paid at once unlike the current system where the remittances are done separately.
“This increment is partially funded by the amount of subsistence allowance formally paid to members from the non-wage budget,” Ms Kibirige said in her submission.
Currently, each MP earns a basic salary of about Shs3 million, which is taxed. They also get a subsistence allowance of Shs4.5 million, mileage allowance of Shs3.8 million, constituency allowance of Shs3.5 million, gratuity of Shs950,000, which is also taxed, and town run allowance of about Shs1 million.
If the government agrees to the request, the increment (Shs11 million) on the monthly pay for an MP will be equivalent to a 40-month salary of a primary teacher who on average earns Shs273,000 a month.
For the coming financial year, the Finance ministry had allocated Shs237 billion to Parliament. A total of Shs19b would go to salaries, Shs208b to the non-wage sector and Shs8.9b for development. The Parliament staff will also benefit from the proposed pay rise.
Ms Kibirige, however, says this allocation is inadequate, falling short of salaries by Shs43b, non-wage by Shs21b and the development budget is less by Shs46 billion. Besides the salary increments, she noted that other increases are linked to recently promoted staff, recruitment of new staff and rise in foreign trips for MPs. The MPs in 2012/13 financial spent more than Shs15 billion on disputed foreign trips.
Asked what he thought of the proposed increment of their salaries, Western Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga (Ind) said it would portray legislators as “suckers”.
MPs oppose move
“At this point we have become like suckers and this trend surely is not politically healthy for us and more critically for the nation,” he said, before asking the Executive to deliver services so that MPs cease performing government roles in their constituencies.
Mr Eddie Kwizera, a member of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, said the request for pay rise “disguised” as consolidation of MPs pay is a testimony that the country needs a Salaries Commission to harmonise issues of remuneration.
Parliament’s spokesperson Helen Kawesa, who confirmed that there is an on-going process to consolidate MPs pay, advised those aggrieved to contact the Parliamentary Commission for discussion.
Plan defended
She said the commission must have considered the standard of living and inflation before proposing a pay rise for MPs, adding that the Constitution allows Parliament to determine its emoluments.
“Parliament is not selfish, as a matter of fact, over the years we have been at the forefront of advocating increased salaries for teachers and health workers but government always said there is no money,” Ms Kawesa said.
The chairperson of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Mr Steven Tashobya (Kajara) whose docket oversees the Parliamentary Commission expenditures, said he was not aware of the proposed pay rise for MPs since they are yet to discuss the policy statement for the coming financial year.
However, other committee members said when the matter comes up before the committee, they will task the commission to justify the request for the additional Shs43 billion to increase MPs’ pay.
THE KEY PLAYERS speak out
Western Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga. “At this point we have become like suckers and this trend surely is not politically healthy for us and more critically for the nation.”
Bufumbira East MP Eddie Kwizera. “I can’t support the request for Shs43 billion to increase our pay. Those salary increases are for those earning below Shs500,000 like teachers and nurses.”
Parliament’s spokesperson Helen Kawesa. “Parliament is not selfish, as a matter of fact, over the years we have been at the forefront of advocating increased salaries for teachers and health workers but government always said there is no money.” issy Kagaba, an anti-corruption activist. “They are a selfish lot that has failed to connect to the needs of their people. With the poor service delivery, how can they justify their increase? We don’t see any value addition from their being MPs.”
The numbers on mps’ salaries
Shs16.7m
Amount each MP earns as salary and allowances per month.
Shs43b
Additional amount that Parliament wants in order to increase MPs’ salaries.
Shs237b
Total amount of money allocated to Parliament for the next financial year.
ymugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com

Accessed on Wednesday 2nd April, 2014 from:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Parliament-plans-to-raise-MPs--pay/-/688334/2266100/-/item/1/-/jkr2gy/-/index.html 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kyenjojo Citizens speak out on improving Education standards


Citizens of Kyenjojo district, during feedback session by members  attended by chairperson LC3 Nyankwanzi and Bufunjo, district counselors, sub county counselors, a team from RWECO and CEWIT, leaders of the neighborhood assembly and the sub county technical team were all moved by the issues raised by the members of  Irakalyabantu Neighborhood Assembly (NA)  on 24th February 2014.  Amidst all the interventions in the education sector, the sub county still faces the challenge of poor  P.L.E results  despite the fact that  the  sub county is blessed with 9 government aided primary schools, 3 private schools and many other subgrade schools with of course  two secondary schools of which one is a community school.
Alas for the whole sub county got 7 first grades   and to make matters worse all the grades were from private schools that is Kyamutunzi parents and Mabira Demonstration school which is the opposite in the previous year when out 9 first grades in 2012 in the sub county, 6 were from government aided primary schools and 3 were from private. Another good example is Nyamyezi primary school that has suffered the impact of staff sealing with only two teachers on government pay roll and the others are S.4 dropout managed to have the their pupils pass with Grade 2 and three while a school like Ruboona Primary School that has teachers on government pay roll out of 16 pupils who sat for P.L.E in 2013 3were in third grade and 13  un graded. The implication of this is that all the pupils of Ruboona Primary school do not even qualify for Universal Secondary Education (USE) yet they have qualified teachers.

Participants at the feedback meeting in Nyakwanzi S/C, Kyenjojo districxt, 24th February 2014
 Key factors that were identified by the leaders that contributed to poor performance in P.L.E were among others the teachers strike over low salary where the sub county chairperson explained that most teachers were demotivated due to poor salary even when the strike was called off their mind was not cleared compared to those in private schools where parents pay the teachers. It was also alarming that Nyankwanzi  sub county has only two substantive head teachers while the rest are just acting as head teachers. The acting head teachers cannot effectively do their work with authority because motivation and power. Also the parents  in Nyankwazi sub county were blamed for regarding their children as Museveni’s children  where they have left the responsibility of  educating their children to the government disguising  that UPE is free therefore children go to school without scholastic materials or even lunch thus denying them chances to concentrate especially during the afternoon classes. The leaders in Nyankwanzi Sub County were also concerned that the pupils in Nyankwanzi Sub County have no role models to inspire them to go study because those who are educated prefer not to come back to the sub county but rather stay in towns.
Ms. Sheila K of RWECO presenting at the feedback meeting in Kyenjojo on 24th February 2014

During a feedback meeting, the sub county leaders resolved that in order to improve education standards Nyankwanzi Sub County would reward the best performers in the sub county with best student’s award of UGX.50,000/  in Primary, UGX.100,000/ in UCE and UGX. 100,000/ for U.A.C.E. The sub county intends also to establish an elites association so that they can motivate young to prioritize education as well as ensure massive sensitization of parents on their role and responsibility to fulfill education requirements for their pupils. Monitoring and support supervision of schools by the leaders would also be a key strategy to ensure that teachers are doing their work as well as motivated.  The leaders also resolved to start a campaign on providing lunch to the pupils while at school.

Compiled by:

Sheila K
Gilbert M
Nyaika R

Monday, February 24, 2014

HOW CAN THE POOR SUPERVISE THE RICH

During the training of elected leaders at Kyarumba Sub county, Kasese district on Monday 24th Feb. 2014, the Kyarumba Sub county Chairperson Mr. Yokonia Mbahimba wondered how the poor councilors could supervise the rich technical staff. " how can the poor councilors who earn nothing at the end of the month supervise the rich technical staff who draw a pay cheque at the end of the month" The chairperson was responding to questions why the councilors had not monitored the opening of school term on 3rd Feb. 2014.
Mr. Yokonia Mbahimba (Standing) responding to questions as to why the sub county councilors had not monitored the opening of term on 3rd Feb. 2014
The facilitator Mr. Joshua Masereka (former Kasese district Vice Chairperson) asked the participants majority of whom were councilors ( 14) if they knew the total sub county budget of 2013/14, only the speaker and the executive responded and they did not also know the exact amount. It was surprised for those who discussed and passed the budget how they were not aware of the budget which they supervise and monitor. The RWECO Coordinator, then took the participants through a checklist of the Kasese district budget as:
Total Kasese district Budget 2013/14 Ugx 41bn: Summary of the district budget:



Revenue Performance and Plans

2012/13

Approved Budget    Receipts by End
June
UShs 000's
2013/14
Approved Budget
1. Locally Raised Revenues                                                                                                   675,018                    483,373
2a. Discretionary Government Transfers                                                                            3,394,234                 2,422,002
2b. Conditional Government Transfers                                                                            27,644,040               27,889,922
2c. Other Government Transfers                                                                                        2,064,361                 1,387,885
3. Local Development Grant                                                                                                  666,062                    511,416
4. Donor Funding                                                                                                                4,294,302                 3,188,877

857,250
3,486,001
31,106,623
2,317,919
624,085
2,591,961

Total Revenues                                                                                                                 38,738,017               35,883,475

40,983,839


Expenditure Performance and Plans

2012/13
Approved Budget                       Actual
Expenditure by
UShs 000's                                                                                                end of June
2013/14
Approved Budget
1a Administration                                                                            2,567,261                    1,666,560
2 Finance                                                                                          1,539,835                    1,176,568
3 Statutory Bodies                                                                               740,218                       379,636
4 Production and Marketing                                                            3,382,201                    2,672,647
5 Health                                                                                            4,145,530                    3,901,003
6 Education                                                                                    20,095,116                  15,971,669
7a Roads and Engineering                                                               4,665,677                    3,100,948
7b Water                                                                                              725,490                       531,189
8 Natural Resources                                                                              74,523                       242,967
9 Community Based Services                                                             568,403                       335,596
10 Planning                                                                                         178,518                       116,840
11 Internal Audit                                                                                   55,245                         26,977
2,988,501
1,291,692
838,994
3,339,176
7,373,109
21,126,696
2,131,061
1,021,447
136,686
481,838
197,393
43,864

Grand Total                                                                                  38,738,016                  30,122,601
Wage Rec't:                              19,947,230                  15,283,141
Non Wage Rec't:                                9,397,290                    7,535,381
Domestic Dev't                                5,099,194                    4,123,274
Donor Dev't                                4,294,302                    3,180,804
40,970,458
23,880,391
8,635,373
5,862,733
2,591,961

 

Production and Marketing budget was used as the case study during the training whose total budget was Ugx. 3.3 bn of which Ugx. 2.1bn was allocated to Naads sector. Kyarumba sub county Naads budget was Ugx. 85 million. When asked how much had been remitted to the sub county by December 2013, the LCIII chairperson asked the NAADs Coordinator to explain to the participants. Ms. Emmunuelina Nzabake, the Sub county NAADs Coordinator reported that the sub county had received Ugx.42,147,000/ in the last two quarters. The NAADs Coordinator also reported that, the beneficiaries were: Food security: 170 Farmers, Market Oriented 20. But the councilors were not aware of the total number of beneficiaries in their respective parishes.
The Community Development Officer reported on Education as:

Total number of Schools 16
Number of Grades: PLE 2013 grade one: 12
Sub county population: 35,000
Asked whether they know the schools and pupils who passed in grade one, the councilors were hesitant and pledged to go to the field and verify the information given by the CDO. However, it was noted that, PLE performance were improving since 2011 due to the intervention of many  actors including CSOs, Church and parents participation.
Participants at the Kyarumba Sub county on 24th Feb. 2014

As a way forward the participants came up with the following:
1.  Organise budget review on 14th March, 2014. To review the 2013/14 budget performance for which the councilors resolved not be paid only the  chief should provide Lunch.
2. Monitoring of the NAADS beneficiaries in the sub county by 14th March, 2014
3. Feed back meetings by all councilors- after the budget review meeting
4. Leaders in Kyarumba Sub county be role models in food security and sanitation - ongoing
5. Promotion of Commercial farming- NAADs Coordinator guide the leaders and citizens on enterprise selection.
6. Localise the citizens manifesto in Action  to the Kyarumba Sub county scenario

Other concerns during the training were the food shortage in Kasese district where it was observed that despite receiving Ugx. 2.1bn from NAADs Kasese district still depended on Kabarole and Bushenyi districts for food. It was noted that on a weekly basis Kasese district citizens spend Ugx. 4 million on buying food from Mawa Market, resulting into Ugx. 192 Million per year only on Matooke. It was also noted that if citizens can spend Ugx. 192 to buy Matooke what about fish, cassava and other house hold essentials. That expenditure on food was reflected in the quality of education in Kasese compared to Kabarole where parents pay for the education of their children. Kyarumba sub county with a budget of Ugx. 182 Million could not even produce enough food for its citizens, instead citizens have resorted to environmental degradation like charcoal burning, timber cutting for which the sub county could not collect local revenue. The participants were moved by the analysis above and asked KALI/RWECO to support the sub county in coming up with a revenue enhancement plan, sensitize the sub county councilor on the Local Economic Development (LED) where the sub county was piloting construction of arch bridges.

Reported by:
1. Agnes K
2. Medrace B
3. Obedi M
4. Jimmy B.O