Monday, June 23, 2014

TAKING KASESE DISTRICT TO THE NEXT STEPS IN DEVELOPMENT

RWECO and the Kasese District Development Network through the public private partnership initiative that has seen CSOs, private sector and government share development concerns facilitated the Kasese district Conference 2014 on June 11th, 2014 that brought together, the Government, CSOs and private sector to debate and share ideas on how to move Kasese district to the next steps in the next 10 years. The Conference was attended by 70 participants drawn from device fields. The participants at the Conference made 8 declarations and 5 resolutions that were later presented to the Kasese district political and technical team on 16th June 2014.

Participants at the Kasese District Conference 2014, held at the Kasese district Multi-purpose hall, on 11th June, 2014


 The Declarations at the Conference:


Preamble
We the participants in the Kasese district conference held in Kasese District at Multi-purpose hall on 11th June 2014  confirm and by consensus agree that the facts and information presented during the conference reflect the development needs of Kasese district  among others;
Conscious of the need to develop human resource, protect the environment and Natural resources, improve our economic potential, quality of education and food security at household level which directly related and influence each another, appreciating the need to act to improve the quality of education, utilize the potentials and endowments that exist and can facilitate change to see the Kasese we want by 2025, here by commit ourselves and resolve that;
  1. Fighting household poverty and improving the quality of education becomes a priority for everyone and all development partners in Kasese District;
  2. The sub county leadership with support from the district should organize decentralized conferences at sub county levels by mid-2015;
  3. Conduct community meetings in villages, schools and churches to sensitize parents and other stakeholders on the importance of education, the need to produce on and utilize household land, sustainable environment management, community tourism and Local economic development and ensure sustainable household food production and incomes.
  4. The district and sub county leadership develop a road map that will clearly show the targets, milestones and actions for the Kasese we want by 2025.
  5.  This conference be conducted annually; the district by working with other development partners dedicate resources for this and annual reviews conducted to assess the commitments in this conference.
  6. All leaders work together to ensure that each household has leased and utilized land well, has sufficient food for home consumption and marketing for income generation.
  7. The office of the district chairperson and the organizing team assumes the responsibility to monitor and follow-up on all the commitments made in this conference.
  8. All elected leaders take the political responsibility for the quality of education, investments ventures,  sustainable exploitation of natural resources, production at household level and tapping from community tourism since they were voted into office to ensure better service deliver;
  9. ·       

  10.  
    Mr. Baritazale Kule, Ass. Commissioner, MoEF, delivering his presentation at the KAsese Conference 2014


    Lt.Col (Rtd) Dula Mawa Muhindo, Kasese District Chairperson, opening the Conference 






Wednesday, May 14, 2014

COUNTING LOSSES AFTER NYAMWAMBA RIVER BURST ITS BANKS IN KASESE DISTRICT




Having heard the many reports on mass media about the floods in Kasese together with my colleagues at office we decided to spend our greater morning of Wednesday 14th May, 2014  in Kilembe.  What is reported on television is just a clip of what took place in Kasese on Thursday 8th May 2014    The place that used to be  home for many is filled with big stones and rocks. The Kilembe mines offices which used to be striking and confortable, is  host of a river  that washed away some structures. One could not resist the depressed faces of the residents who are living on hope that humanitarian aid and the government would come to rescue them from the situation.  

RWECO staff monitoring in Kilembe 14th May, 2014
 The most touching experience was at Katiri Primary school where the flood found the   head teacher and primary seven pupils in class. The situation was so alarming that the head teacher  and the pupils had to evacuate through the window. Under normal circumstances the windows were high for a human being to pass through but the little children managed to escape death amidst all the circumstances though they are now nursing browses. The  courage of the children to reinstate their school was a great motivation for  me as by  12th may 2014 morning the children were busy removing water and silt from the classes even without a formal call by the headmistress.  The headmistress of Katiri primary school was encouraged by efforts of the pupils but however complained that the thieves broke the school cupboard to steal books and other relevant information of the school. 

Pupils of Katiri Primary School, wondering what next after the school was flooded. These pupils came to clean up on Monday with their Headteacher.

 Bulembia  Primary school  was the most affected school of all as the river burst its banks and  washed away a 2 classroom block with all its furniture.  Other classroom blocks were  weakened by the water and the  big question remain  whether or not the school will be able to open on Monday 19th May, 2014  as other schools open.
It was shocking to also observe that part of the Kilembe mines offices were also washed away by the floods while the remaining part is hanging in the middle of the flowing river that burst its banks.  In my view the offices are not safe for human settled because they were  weakened by the floods.  Also the road that was reconstructed a few months ago is the new course of river Nyamwamba, however on critical observation, tarmac on the drive way  was just a small layer in a lay man’s language!!! . UNRA should do a value for money audit even when the road was washed away by the floods. 

Bulembia Primary school was totally washed away. Where will the children Go!!! Hope the Presidents visit to the affected families and institutions on Wednesday 14th May, 2014 will bring hope to the citizens.
  In my view the floods in Kilembe caused total destructruction  which will not require renovation and relief aid but reconstruction to enable people continue living without having to worry about the next the rain. I have been humbled by the efforts of the local leaders of Kasese, Hima Cement and Hima Tibeti  and CSO for their endavour to desilt the river as well as counsel the local population around Kilembe.  Man should also be blamed for degrading the environment because of Human activities around the river banks, climate change have caused havoc to human life.  The condition at Kilembe is a typical example of how climate change can affect human being and as citizen of Uganda we therefore need to protect our environment for a better tomorrow.
By RWECO Team
Sheila K & Gilbert m


 

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