Saturday, July 24, 2010

Poor workmanship a cause for water shortage at most protected springs; a case of Kisebere 2 and Kamighanza protected springs.

Poor workmanship has been singled out by community based monitors under KALI and GOOD Hope as major cause for low water flow rate at most of the protected springs in the Rwenzori region. This was revealed in a report by community based monitors in the Rwenzori region. The study which considered protected springs in Kasese, Kabarole and Kyenjojo Districts blamed their poor or non functionality to wrong sitting, shoddy construction works, use of inadequate materials such as sand and cement and poor workmanship. This has negatively impacted the community access to safe and clean water. In some cases the protected springs suffered from lack of maintenance by the users, for instance, some were bushy, muddy and in a state of disrepair. According to the users of the water sources, the poor operation and maintenance of the water facilities is blamed on the failure of the water user committees to account for the funds collected from the communities. They also blame the water authorities at sub county and district level for the slow response to reports about the breakdown and functionality of the water facilities. In some cases the communities blamed the local authorities for not involving the water users in the planning and construction of the facilities citing many cases where there was neither commissioning nor launch of the water facilities. Out of the sampled 80 water facilities in the region, as many as 40 had been constructed but the communities did not know the year of construction nor could they name the contractor.

In brief the non functionality of water facilities in the Rwenzori region can be attributed to factors such as Poor system designs, O & M Issues, Non-functionality and Non-existance of WUCs, Failure to pay user fees, Failure by the Local authories to comply incase they are reported to Low civic competence.

However, the study by the monitors gives hope on the situation of water in the region. It notes that all sub counties along the Rwenzori Mountain ranges still have safe water in spite of the general global warming. It also notes that the faulty gravity flow schemes and protected springs can be repaired; and most of the water sources protected can still act as sources for Gravity Flow Schemes.

The monitors also note that there is misallocation of resources for instance the rain water harvesting tanks in schools. Cases inpoint cited include Hamukungu, Kanyatsi, Katholhu and Kiraro primary schools that have rain harvesting water tanks but have not made use of them because of failure to fix gutters. In some cases the rain harvesting water tanks have remained dumped and unutilized as is the case of Kikorongo roadside market in Kasese District for as long as four years. This is inspite of the fact that there are some more desrving schools and institutions that are water stressed but have no rain water harvesting tanks. In otherwords in some of the schools there is plenty but negligently unutilized while in others there is completely nothing.
By Timothy Balikenga


Head Teachers in Kabarole District have called for a review of the Education Act of 2008 arguing it is very restrictive and imposes a challenge to them in delivering Education service at their primary schools. This was at a public dialogue meeting where RWECO, through IWDP, was presenting findings of monitoring the delivery of service in the education sector in the districts of Kabarole, Kasese and Kyenjojo. The report pointed out a number of lapses in the implementation of the Universal Primary Education policies in the primary schools in the region.

According to this report the key issues in the delivery of primary education are School management systems which are still below the expected standards,The School Managment Committees have not executed their mandate as expected, there is a growing concern on the levels of absenteeism of the pupils and teachers, there is inadequate supervisory mechanisms which are needed to improve school performance, there are high drop out rates especially in hard – to – reach and hard-to-live areas which need to be addressed urgently, poor hygiene and sanitation of both pupils and the facilities and inadequate and poor quality facilities in the schools. These have resulted into poor performance in most schools, the majority of those surveyed having not had any first grade in Primary Leaving Examinations over the last three years.

In response the headteachers concurred with the monitors’ findings but quickly apportioned blame to the inadequate resources and the unrealistic expectations of the govenment and education other stakeholders. They particularly singled out the Education Act of 2008 which they said was unrealistic. They reported that they had written memoranda to the relevant authorities challenging sections of the act which they were not comfortable with but, to their chagrin, had not received any repsonse. The head teachers therefore called upon RWECO to engage with the legislaters from the Rwenzori region to demand for amendment of the 2008 education act. It was resolved that the headteachers, through a meeting convened by the teachers association, should point out areas that need amendment and make proposals. RWECO was asked to facilitate this process.

At the same dialogue meeting it was observed that while government was doing its best, there was still a challenge of political pronouncements that were negatively impacting the spirit of local contribution by parents. Another challenge was that of poor mobilization by some head teachers and school management committees who have failed to raise resources for classroom construction and provision of other facilities. It was resolved that a massive awareness campaign of all education stakeholders be undertaken through the radio and other approriate channels by IWDP and others.


Drug shop operators in Kabarole District have been put in the spotlight. This follows a revelation that their shops are being used as outlets for medicines suspected to be stolen from government health centres. This revelation was made by the Assistant Health Inspector of Ruteete Sub County (NAME) at a public dialogue meeting at Gardens Restaurant in Fort Portal Municipality that was organized by Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence.

The dialogue meeting was held to discuss the findings of the monitoring exercise conducted by Integrated Women Development Programme and the community based monitors. At this meeting the health Inspector revealed that he had exposed and led to the arrest of one drug shop operator in Kasenda Sub County who was found selling government labeled drugs in his shop. When the said drug shop operator was searched he was found to have a license with names different from those on the operating permit issued by the Sub County Authority. Mr. ----, the Health Inspector, revealed that when Mr.------, the drug shop operator was interrogated about his source of the government drugs, he revealed that he buys them from ‘patients’ who pick them from the public health centres.
Medical workers participating in the dialogue revealed that as soon as the health centres receive medical consignments many community members fake sicknesses and come for treatment. However, most of the health centres lack laboratory services that would aid the medical workers to carry out proper examination and so they have to base their diagnosis on the patient’s history, which in most cases is inaccurate. The medical workers also revealed that according to their professional conduct they cannot deny a patient medical attention. Therefore, they end up dispensing drugs even to people who may not actually be sick. Some of these people, it was revealed keep the drugs in their homes awaiting when a family member or neighbors will fall sick so they can be treated and others sell them off to the many drug shops in the area. The general opinion was that community people have resorted to such acts due to the inadequate and unreliable medical stocks in the public health centres.

Participants at the public dialogue urged Kabarole District Local Government to crack the whip against the illegal drug shops which were reported to be in their majority in most of the sub counties with Ruteete taking the lead. It was also revealed that most of them are operated by quack medical workers and are actually operating without licenses from the National Drug Authority but only operating permits issued at Sub County sometimes under the influence of politicians. It was also revealed that the District Assistant Drug Inspector has either not performed his role of carrying out periodical inspection or could have been compromised.

The problem of quack medical workers but operating under permit of the sub counties was found to be wide spread not only in Kabarole but in Kasese (and other districts) as well.
(Picture of illegal drug shop license in Nyakiyumbu)
The participants in the dialogue meeting agreed that the District Health Officer, through the Sub County Chiefs, is to make available a list of the licensed drug shops operating in each of the sub counties with clear details of the names and qualification of the operator. The community based monitors and IWDP were asked to work closely with the sub county and district authorities to monitor the operations of the drug shops and expose any cases of quackery and sale of labeled and or un permitted drugs. In conclusion the Kabarole District Local Government was asked to mount an operation against illegal drug shops and their operators with immediate effect.
By Timothy Balikenga information officer


It all started in May 2009 with a sensitization workshop of the District Local Government staffs and elected leaders by the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity in the Office of the President. RWECO took to facilitate the process by mobilizing stakeholders and providing the logistics
The Resident District Commissioner Kasese hosted the event. From the then the Kasese District Integrity Promotion Forum was born. It is a replica of the Inter Agency Forum at National level that brings together all actors involved in the accountability and good governance sector. The Kasese District Integrity Promotion Forum (DIPF), chaired by the RDC with the Chief Administrative Officer as the secretary, brings together accountability and good governance actors in the District who include the Office of the Resident District Commissioner, the District Internal Security Office (DISO), the Police, Criminal Investigations Department, the District Executive Committee, the District Technical Planning Committee, the District Public Accounts Committee, the Chief Magistrate, the Resident State Attorney, the Office of the Auditor General, the Regional Inspectorate of Government, the Private Sector, the Civil Society Organizations, the Cultural Institution and the Religious Leaders.
Government should stop shooting wide in fighting corruption while missing the corrupt people
The DIPF sits quarterly to review the state of enhancing ethical conduct in the delivery of services and how acts of corruption are being addressed by the various stakeholders. Since inception the DIPF has had three meetings, the latest being the one that was held on 9th July 2010, which was the third.
This 3rd DIPF meeting was co-funded by the Kasese District Local Government and the Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO). The meeting had four main objectives, which were: to sensitize the members about the national anti-corruption strategy and the new anti-corruption laws; the District Strategy to Fight Corruption; Review of the progress of the DIPF; and a scan of the ethical conduct in the delivery of social services at the grassroots. The meeting was graced by among others the heads of the various religious sects in the District, members of the District Technical Planning Committee (Heads of Department and sections), the District Executive Committee, the Resident State Attorney, the Criminal Investigations Department (anti-corruption desk), the Private Sector and Civil Society organizations. Various papers were presented and discussed and a way forward hammered.

The first paper on the National Anti Corruption Strategy (NACS) was presented by Mr. Kenneth Kauta, the Principal Ethics Officer in the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity. He presented a synopsis of the national anti-corruption strategy and the efforts at national level to address the problem of corruption. He highlighted one of the key achievements has been the introduction of the anti-corruption court which has successfully prosecuted corruption cases including grand corruption ones. He also sensitized the meeting on the anti-corruption act and the whistle blowers act. These two acts left a deep impression on the members of the DIPF. One of them, Rev. Fr. Expedito Masereka, remarked that with these new laws, no one is spared of corruption, not even the pope. It was generally agreed that the new laws had widened the net to also include corruption in the private sector, which had hitherto not been expressly covered in the existing laws. However, doubt was cast about the willingness and capacity of government to enforce these laws. For instance, the Bishop of South Rwenzori Diocese, the Right Reverend Jackson Thembo Nzerebende, noted that government was shooting wide and missing the targets, which are the corrupt people.

He noted that the corrupt are well known but government has not done enough to bring them to book. He advised that it may necessary that government studies the tactics used by the corrupt to evade the law so the same can be used to catch them (corrupt).
In his presentation the RDC reviewed the progress of the DIPF and reminded the members of its terms of reference. He noted that the fight against corruption requires more than participation but actual involvement. He used the analogy of an animal farm.
The fight against requires more than participation but actual involuement
At that farm all the animals agreed to throw a party in honour of their master. They drew up a menu that included eggs, milk, and meat, among others. However, when it came to the actual implementation of the menu, some of the animals realized that whereas some were to participate by providing milk and eggs, others were to be directly involved by providing meat, which meant losing their lives. Those that were to be involved declined to participate in providing for the menu. The RDC therefore noted that in the fight against corruption what we need is real involvement not just participation. And this means losing what is so precious to us, for instance money and position (that are not earned!!). This left members of the DIPF shifting unsettled in their chairs.
The Assistant CAO, who is also the District Focal Point Person for Good Governance and Anti-corruption, Mr. Mutungwanda Johnson, presented the local government anti-corruption strategy. In this strategy he emphasized that heads of department at the district are required to form a Steering Committee of five members, one of whom is from civil society, which is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that no corruption is taking place in their respective departments. Besides, each head of department is required to make a report quarterly on what efforts his/he department has put in place to address the problem of corruption. The strategy also requires the district to put up a suggestion box at the district headquarters the keys to which are to be kept by the CAO and one by the member of the civil society. At the time of opening the suggestion both the CAO and civil society member must be present and the issues found therein addressed by the Steering Committee. The strategy requires that this should also be replicated at the sub county level. It was noted that for this strategy to work more successfully, there is need to link the local government’s proposed efforts to those of civil society which already exist. For instance, RWECO already suggestion boxes and notice boards at sub county level in most of the sub counties in Kasese District. All that is needed is a joint coordination between RWECO and the sub county and district local government to sensitize the people to use the notice boards and the suggestion boxes.

As part of the effort to expose unethical conduct and other weaknesses in the delivery of basic services to the communities RWECO presented findings of its monitoring efforts. It emphasized that this expose is one of the roles civil society has to play in addressing bottlenecks in the delivery of social services. Bottlenecks in poverty alleviation include among others corruption. Mr. Mwirima emphasized that one of the causes of corruption is failure by office holders to understand the basic roles of their offices in the poverty reduction strategy. They often do not link the role of their office to alleviating the poor people they serve.

Therefore, they do not mind diverting a few resources to their personal benefit. He added that this is lack of capacity to understand how to address poverty. This lack of capacity is one of the key components of the bottlenecks in structural poverty reduction strategy. RWECO is addressing this by exposing unethical conduct in the delivery of social services at community level. The RWECO findings were based on three sectors – water, health and education. Some of key findings are shown in the pictorial below. A heated debate followed the presentation of the civil society findings.
As a way forward the DIPF meeting resolved to follow pending issues exposed in the RWECO presentation. These included a resolution by the members to task the District Council to pronounce itself on the issuance of operational licenses of drug shops; that there should be prompt reporting of findings from the field and immediate action taken by the relevant authorities, not waiting for the DIPF meeting; deliberate action to operationalize the DIPF at sub county level immediately; the next DIPF meeting is to sit on 29th September 2010 and will consider among others the report of the accountability sector on Mahango Gravity Flow Scheme; and sensitization of the people through radio programmes on the local government anti-corruption strategy and anti-corruption laws.
By James Mwirima

Saturday, July 10, 2010


From the monitoring audit conducted by Good Hope (Focal person & monitors), Local council leaders both at village, parish, sub county officials on 25th/ 6/ 2010, it was discovered that almost all Gravity flow scheme projects serving Kisinga Sub County have their sources in Kyondo Sub County for instance Takwenda and Nyamulhalire schemes in Bulighisa village, Kasokero Parish, Kyondo sub county. During this monitoring visit a lot of gaps were revealed with contributory factors by different stakeholders.
Takwenda source was constructed in 1990 by the Anglican diocese and Nyamulhalire source, constructed in 2004 by Kagando rural development centre (KARUDEC).
All the above sources have enough water to serve the whole of Kyondo and Kisinga Sub counties maximamly. Despite of this capacity, Citizens of Kyondo still crave in vain for adequate water supply.
In 2004, Takwenda and Nyamulhalire sources were merged to form one commonly known as Bulighisa GFS by KARUDEC.
1. Given the above capacity, Bulighisa village only has three tap stands , one fully functioning, another one on and off and the third one completely unfunctional.
2. On average, a citizen travels 2kms to the nearest tap stand given the hilly nature of the area.
1. Water volume is more than the size of the pipes used at the source to the tap stands down.
2. 3Quarter pipes used instead of 1.5 pipes.
3. Air sucking pipes not distributed on the line from the source to the tap stands.
4. Pipe from the tank at the source is above the minimum level of water volume (not at zero bottom).
5. Leaking tank at the source.
6. No funds identified by the sub county to facilitate the plumber.
7. Poor monitoring by kyondo local government and water user committees’ members.
1. Tank over flow due to under sized pipes as compared to the water volume.
2. On and off water flow at tap stands due to tank over flow and high pressure in the pipes.
3. Lack of ownership by citizens in the parish because they do not benefit from the source as care takers.
4. Tank at the source, over flowing and a 3 qtr pipe instead of 1.5inche pipe supplying all tap stands down the line.
5. Standing near is the sub county water board c/person.
6. Professional advice must have lacked here, and monitoring gap by leaders and civilians!
The impact of lack of pressure regulating pipes causing on and off water flow.

• The sub county water board chairperson together with other sub county officials committed themselves to organize thorough re-election of new water user committees in the sub county which they said the current members had over stayed on power and no longer interested in serving their community.
• The sub county chief tasked the chair person water board to urgently spearhead the costing of requirements that may be handled by the sub county through the plumber, to be considered in the sub county budget.
• The sub county officials and local council one leaders of Bwethe and Bulighisa committed themselves to urgently organize a follow up visit to KARUDEC about the promise they made of allocating more tap stands to Bulighisa and Bwethe villages in order to enhance community ownership.
Project focal person.