Kasese district has established an e-society resource centre in partnership with the private sector and Civil society organizations in the Rwenzori region.
The resource centre, worth Shs43m, was commissioned on Wednesday at Rukoki, the district headquarters, in Kasese Municipality.
The facility, which is part of The District Information Office, comprises 13 desktop computers, a laptop, a printer which also acts as a photocopier and a scanner.
Rev.J Kitheghenda LCV Kasese (2nd left)observing the online platforms after commissioning the e-society resource centre
The project combines both online and off line access to information by the community.
The various online packages including a district website, internet, an e-library, a district blog, a civil society portal and an e-mail link and also offers computer training to district workers and community users.
the offline possibilities are monthly and quarterly feedback stake holders meetings, Radio talk shows that allows the citizens to phone in quartely magazine "the peoples voice" and sms mobile phone platform.
The executive director Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RICNET) John Murugahara said that the centre was the first of its kind in the Rwenzori region.
The centre is offering free internet services to the people, government officials, civil society organizations and the private sector.
Rev.J Kitheghenda LCV Kasese addressing the people at e-society commissioning ceremony.
He said that a district website had been built through the e-society centre containing information about the district including departmental reports, plans, budgets and any other information related to civil society and the private sector among others.
Murugahara said that the centre was also offering free computer training, subsidized costs on photocopying, printing and scanning among others.
He revealed that the centre was co-funded by the European Union, Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (HIVOS), International Institute for communication Development and Rwenzori Consortium for Civil Competences (RWECO).
The District Information Officer Kasese John.B.Thawite told the guests at the ceremony that the e-society is aimed at bringing the society of Kasese into a purview of electronic usage for poverty-reduction to improve their social economic, health, cultural and education status of the Kasese community.
‘The e-society will answer the issue of inadequate access to timely and relevant information, a key aspect that limits citizens’ effective participation in the planning and monitoring processes in the district’ Thawite added.
Mr. Thawite the DIO kasese and John Silco Director RIC-NET on a radio progamme.
He said that the plan was in place to decentralize the resource centre services to counties, sub-counties and parishes in order to benefit more of the rural people.
Officiating at the ceremony the district chairman Rev. Canon Julius Kithaghenda underscored the need to empower the people with information that can help them to fight poverty.
He noted that without information sharing and giving to the people the fight against poverty would not succeed.
‘I tell you our people are derail and sometimes they vote for people they couldn’t vote for because they lack information’ Kithaghenda said.
He challenged Civil servants to be computer literate so that they can much with the technological developments in the world, proposing that computer-illiterate civil servants be sacked.
The Chief Administrative Officer Kasese Giles Kahika said that his office was drawing a plan of sustaining the e-society resource centre after the donors pulled out and assured the people that it would be maintained and serve the intended purpose.
By John B. Thawithe
http://www.kasesecso.org/ - Kasese CSOs Portal
http://www.kasese.go.ug/ - Kasese District Website
http://kaseseelibrary.org - Kasese District E-Library
http://dgroups.org/iicd/kasese - Kasese Community D- Group
http://kasesenews.blogspot.com/ - Kasese District News Blog
http://www.kabaroledistrict.go.ug/ -Kabarole District Website
www.uchaguzi.co.ug Citizens’ election monitoring platform
http://www.ricnet.info/files/publications.html Copies of “ The Rwenzori Peoples voice Magazine”