Having conducted a baseline survey in Kyegegwa, Bundibugyo and Kamwenge Districts to establish the quality and type of service delivery in the education (UPE) and agriculture (NAADs) sectors from 15.09.11 to 20.08.11, RWECO partners (Good Hope, KALI, IWDP and RIC-NET) on 05.09.11 met at Rwenzori International Hotel in Kasese to share their reports and compile a main report that is expected to be shared with the leaders on 16.09.11 during the launch of the RWECO project.
The meeting that started yesterday is expected to run up to 09.09.11.
The issues shared are those baseline survey findings that members gathered from the different places visited; two sub counties per district were sampled and taken on for the baseline survey exercise. In Kamwenge, Kicheche and Kamwenge Town Council were surveyed, while in Bundibugyo, Bubukwanga and Nyahuka town council and in Kyegegwa District Mpara and Kakabara sub counties were visited during the exercise.
During the sharing, some issues in both sectors emerged similar for instance;
Under Education sector (UPE), issues of inadequate and delayed release of UPE funds, high teacher and pupil absenteeism especially in the case of pupils like on market days, worship days(every 2nd,12th and 22nd of every month for bisaka worshipers in Kyegegwa) and in Bundibugyo on Cocoa picking days (15th and 30th of every month).
Other issues included understaffing, inadequate support from the parents towards education programs, high school dropout rates, lack of/inadequate text books, limited access to safe and clean water, lack of monitoring and school inspections by the District Education Officers and inspectors of schools, inadequate infrastructure; desks, classrooms, latrines and staff houses, in bundibugyo for instance the staff house coverage in the district is just 15%, while the ratio of latrines to pupils is 1:77, and non functional School Management committees among others.
Under the NAADs sub sector, issues of lack of co-funding towards the NAADs program by the sub counties, inadequate knowledge on the NAADs program by the community, unrealistic/inadequate supply of enterprises like the supply of only one sex of the animals to the farmer, high taxes charged from the suppliers, inadequate number of beneficiaries(out of a group of 25 members only 1 member benefits at ago per financial year), and inadequate monitoring of beneficiaries by NAADs officials.
In addition to this was influence peddling in allocation of enterprises and selection of beneficiaries and politicizing of the program by some leaders, late disbursement of NAADs funds, conservativeness and lack of cooperation by the beneficiaries; some eat or sell the enterprises while others have continuously stuck to the traditional methods of farming despite the training they have had while others still prefer growing traditional crop species even when they know that they don’t yield much on the market.
More of these issues are being discussed and repackaged into one report that RWECO intends to use in her advocacy work at both local and national levels, and to also share with her different stakeholders and partners as soon as it is ready.
From the sharing, members have learnt that the two services (NAADs and UPE) are not adequately benefiting the grass roots and that the government must be informed of the service delivery challenges/gaps identified and lobbied to address them if the programs must benefit the grass root persons.