Tuesday, July 24, 2012


There has been cholera outbreak in Bundibugyo since May 21st to date. This was revealed by the District bio-statistician Mr. Kule Justus and the LCV Vice Chairperson Mr. Mbalibula Baluku Godfrey during an interview with Good Hope Foundation for Rural development staff, while carrying out the participatory assessment on poverty eradication policies in the health and water sectors. The number of cholera cases so far has gone to 172 persons, 43 coming from Bundibugyo town council. Two (2) deaths have been reported while 10 persons have been confirmed to have cholera. They are admitted in Bundibugyo main hospital and Nyahuka Health Centre IV. The causes are said to stem from consumption and use of dirty water from the streams/rivers that have been contaminated by domestic and livestock activities done along them. In a similar development it is alleged that during the visit of Omusinga Charles Wisely Mumbere to Bundibugyo, there were clashes between Bakonzo and Bamba/Bawisi over the King’s presence and cultural activities in Bundibudigyo. Reports indicate that these clashes forced the Bakonzo to cut water pipes to stop water supply to the Bamba/Bawisi community, hence facilitating continuous outbreak of cholera. Accordingly the Bundibugyo District disaster team is working hard to sensitize the community on the various preventive measures; washing hands with soap after using the latrine, before and after eating , drinking boiled, using clean water containers and seeking immediate medication incase of infection to mention but a few. According to the District Vice Chairperson, Hon. Godfrey he reveled that no funds have so far been received from the Central government to support in the sensitization of the masses and treatment of the victims.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Kyegegwa RDC, Ms. Baguma Nyakwera addressing  the meeting on 11 July
Business as usual will nolonger be a term used in Kyegegwa district as leaders have vowed to crackdown on staff that are rather not meeting the required public service standards. That was said during a joint meeting between the Resident District Commissioner Ms. Baguma, LCV Chairperson Mr. Norman Birungi, the district speaker, the Deputy CAO and the team from RWECO and RIDE Africa. In attendance was a staff who had come for placement at RIDE Africa from Tanzania Ms. Patricia. RIDE Africa and RWECO initiated a meeting with the RDC to train leaders on promotion of ethics and integrity that is a core component of the clients charters that are a package of the social accountability tools. The meeting that took place on wed. July 11, 2012 in the RDC's office appreciated the work RWECO and RIDE Africa was doing in Kyegegwa district. The Coordinator RWECO informed the meeting, that he was committed to ensuring that citizens get what they deserved from the leaders as promised and reflected in the district budgets. The RDC, made it clear that time for laxity was over, if it ever existed in Kyegegwa anyhow, she said she was committed to ensuring that Kyegegwa district does not appear in the press for the wrong things but rather as a learning and fast growing district. On his part, the district Chairperson Mr. Norman Buringa, assured the meeting, that since he had a history of working with CSOs, it was now time for him to walk the talk during his time in office. The LCV chair, proposed that on the day of the launch, Hon. Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo should be the chief guest, the RDC was asked to make a formal write up to invite the Minister and the trainer from the ministry of Ethics and Integrity.
Kyegegwa District LCV Mr. Norman Birungi (second left), appreciating the work done by RWECO

The speaker to council, supported the idea of training leaders and suggested that the launch of the district integrity promotion forum should not leave Kyegegwa leaders the same. 

RWECO and RIDE Africa, agreed to contribute towards the training of the district leaders and offer radio air time to sensitize the Bataka of Kyegegwa on the district integrity promotion forum. A date was set for the training as 30-31, July 2012 and RDC as chair was charged with mobilising resources and other logistics to support the event. The success of these activities steam back from the lessons RWECO has learnt in Kasese and Bundibugyo at which the DIPF have proved to be a milestone in ensuring good governance and effective service delivery to the grassroots people; http://observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19492&Itemid=114

Ms. Patricia from Tanzania appreciate the approach used by RIDE Africa in involving the leaders while planning for activities that it increased ownership and recognition of the contribution made by all the stakeholders. She acknowledged that, RIDE Africa and RWECO is her mentor in some of the new processes of promoting good governance and social accountability which she was not well versed with. Kudos to Hivos that has funded RWECO and its members to do all these activities in the Rwenzori region and support RWECO to scale up the activities in all the seven districts in the Rwenzori Region.

Compiled by
Jimmy Baluku -RWECO
 and Sam Rukidi -RIDE Africa
Kyegegwa District


Ms. Baguma Samalie is an In-charge at Rwengaju HC II. Samalie a lady in her mid thirties has proven to be hardworking and committed to saving lives in Rwengaju parish Busoro Sub County, Kabarole District. Supported by five other staff, Samalie has through thick and thin managed to keep the HC effectively running and growing. Apart from reporting for duty everyday at 8:00am to 6:00pm which is not the case with most of today’s Health workers, Samalie has gone ahead to use her personal savings and salary to implement several activities at the HC especially the outreach activities like immunization. Samalie who is around two years old at the HC revealed to the RWECO monitoring team on 27.06.12 that she and her staff had offered to use their own savings to run the center, with the hope that they would recover these funds when Government sends the HC’s PHC funds. Such love for the people and commitment at work is what I find inspiring and tongue tying as well. Whereas government is failing on its role to provide adequate PHC funds to HCs coupled with its delay, it has gone ahead to cut the national health budget year after year, and also deny some HCs their PHC arrears; Rwengaju HCII is one of them. According to the HC In-charge the HC serves a population of over 9000 people, receives between 20-40 people per day and 18milllion shillings PHC funds per year.
Unfortunately this money comes in late or doesn’t even come at all, for instance Samalie revealed that “as much as PHC funds are expected to be quarterly and 1900000 million shillings per year, we usually receive around 850000 shillings only which also comes in late, like after 2 quarters or even nothing at all; for example we have not received PHC for almost a year now. We were forced to use our own savings to keep the Center running, hoping that we shall recover it, unfortunately when i followed up with the DHO in early June, he told me to forget that money-the arrears. He said that government does not have money to even fund current programs so demanding and expecting arrears becomes even more difficult” Samalie revealed that she finds the situation and the DHO’s communication very demoralizing and scary, “I do not know how we shall keep working with inadequate funds. And now that we can’t even recover our previous monies, I do not think we the staff can continue funding the HC, Government should do something” Samalie remarked. Looking at the amount of PHC funds received versus the total population of Rwengaju parish, it is clear that each person gets less than 3shillings of the PHC funds; an amount so small to save a life, not even treat minor diseases. With the limited support government is giving to the Health sector and Rwengaju HCII in particular, it goes without saying that even the self motivated and hardworking staff at the HC will lose interest in their work and let things/services and lives ‘go to the dogs’. There is need for continued advocacy and lobbying of the government by development partners, and health practitioners to increase the health budget and PHC

Saturday, July 14, 2012

six Injured in Farmers clashes with Pastrolists in Rwehingo Kasese

Six people are said to have been injured this morning in a land wrangle between the cultivators and cattle keepers in Rwehingo in Bukonzo west constituency.
Four of the injured are cultivators while other two said to be seriously injured are cattle Keepers.
The High Court judge Justice Owiny Dolo early in may his year ruled in favour of the farmers who had sued government for giving out their land to the pastoralists when they were repatriated from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.
Court also ordered the government to pay twelve million shillings to each of the two hundred eighty nine farmers who had not cultivated on the land for five years.
Farmers who successful won a high court case of their land in Rwehingo and Bukangara in Bukonzo West were this morning being handed their land only to be welcomed by the cattle keepers armed with pangas and Speers.
The particulars of those injured are not yet known but sources say that they have been rushed to Bwera hospital for medication.
Our correspondent at the scene said that cattle keepers were later dispersed by Police using tear gas and they took off.
The Kasese district Chairperson Lt. Col. Mawa Muhindo together with Police went to scene to officially hand over the land under question to the farmers.
By press time, efforts to here from the chairman Lt. Col. Mawa Muhindo were futile but he has always said that the district leadership will honour the high court ruling that says the land belongs to the farmers.
Reported by  Edward Makanika

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gains of Social Accountability in Kamwenge District


Hon. Frank Tumwebaze (right), Hon. Dorothy (middle) and Muhesi during a radio talk show in Kamwenge
Issues raised calls in on VOK as on 29/6/2012

General Responses from the MPS
Health Services
A caller posed a question to the MPS that: It appears that there is no or little support from our leaders on HIV/AIDS and Cancer of cervix and breasts?.
District Woman MP Hon. Dorothy Nshaija supported 8 women for Cancer of breast and cervix.
4 women were found victims of multiple breast and cervical cancer. A mother of 4 children at  age of 25 years old had both cancer of breast and cervical and an HIV/AIDS. So she told the gathering that HIV/AIDS is on rise in Kamwenge District. She  urged CSOs-RWECO to mobilize and sensitize the masses
They are all on free treatment.
The Ambulances for Rukunyu Health Centre IV and Ntara HC IV are in place and urged citizens to use them effectively.

The citizens engaged the MPs on what is the fate of Rukunyu HC IV, Biguli HC II and Mpanga?
Biguli and Kabambiro HCs will be Upgraded from HCII to HC III.
Mpanga will be created and work as HC II to reduce on the congestion of outpatients in Rwamwanja Refugee Camp and its environs.
Rukunyu Health Center IV is being refurbished and the MPS are lobbying for it is upgrading to Hospital status.
Maternity ward and the theatre are being constructed at Rukunyu HC IV and they will be stocked with all the essential supplies.
He urged the HUMC to be vigilant on the Sanitation and Hygiene in the Wards and OPDs.
Kanara HC III to get a maternity ward
Padoropio is a missionary  HC to be upgraded into Hospital
Repair of the standby generator at Ntara HC IV where so far over 90 women have delivered and operated using the generator as source of power.

Production and Marketing

NAADS- Two callers  demanded for community purchase rather than open domestic bidding or/micro procurement in order to have impact on the farmers as most of the cost is for administration-service providers. 
The MPS promised to follow the issue since Hon MP Frank is on the Finance Sectoral committee of the Parliament. He promised to influence the cabinet not to be tendering NAADS money instead use community purchase. 

 A caller from Mahyoro S/C informed the MPs on the delay of planting materials and seeds (cuttings, vines, beans, maize, G/nuts) normally delay and NAADS impact is not felt in the community. This has affected the food security of the farmers.
The MPs asked the District Speaker to table the issue in the council to first be minuted so that community procurement can be advocated for. This  allow will make NAADS be owned by the beneficiaries

Pond Fish farming; A caller from Mahyoro engaged the MP on why NAADS has neglected the fish farms? We have no nets for fishing 
The Woman MP promised to talk to the district NAADS Coordinator and the Fisheries Department for the total support in fish production gears

Coffee Farming. Hima has given coffee seedlings are they for free?
Yes…everyone will get coffee seedlings. Hima will give 7 million seedlings and they asked the citizens to plant and take care of the coffee. First batch will be one million seedlings.
Roads and works
Four (4) callers from Katoma, Mpanga, Kyakanyemera and Kabuga cell engaged the MPs on the status of the roads and works in the district.
MPs lobbied for Road unit equipment for the district. The district and S/Cs will be buying only fuel to the graders and tippers.
Two motorcycles one for Kibale and Kitagwenda Counties will be given each.
Kamwenge-Fort portal Road to be upgraded to tarmac this FY 2012/13.
USE Programme: Five (5) callers from Nyabbani S/C engaged the MPS on how their Secondary schools have benefited from the USE programme.
The following secondary schools were put to benefit from USE funds: Nyabbani, Biguli, Kabambiro, Mohyoro and Kyabenda for the construction of classrooms and VIP latrine stances.

UPE Programme
The Woman Mp Hon. Dorothy distributed 50 mattresses to 45 girl child and 5 boy child in the primary schools. But a girl from Rwanjanza P/S disappointed the MP as the girl was impregnated and dropped out of school.
Governance and Democracy
Land use and Land titles issues: Residents of Kamwenge appealed to the MPs to secure the Rwamwanja Land from the Refugee settlement-UNCHR
The MPs urged all the residents of Kamwenge district both public and private to lease their pieces of land and acquire land titles. The MP. Frank has organized 10 Households to contribute some money so that they survey their land and secure the land titles.
He urged district land board through the District Speaker and his Council to lobby RWECO-KALI to support the Land Board on  VOK FM Radio to explain to  the citizens the issues of land title acquisition procedure.

Compiled by
Nicholas Muhesi
KALI-in Kamwenge District

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Districts in Teso and Acholi Region Embrace use of ICT for Social Accountability

RIC-NET under CEW-IT   started  interface meetings with District leaders for the design and development of websites and e-libraries.


where one of the activities is to design and develop online platforms that will enhance information sharing and gathering feedback from the citizens.
RIC-NET is mandated to implement this activity on behalf of CEW-IT with all  members from the five region of Teso, Acholi, Rwenzori, Buganda and West Nile. The activity is part of the project funded  by EU & HIVOS.

The visit to Teso and Acholi region started on Monday  25th June all through to 29th June 2012 . RIC-NET staff (Executive Director and I.C.T.O) accompanied with staff from PAC Uganda and ACORD  traveled to Teso sub-region and Acholi region. Five (5) Districts were visited and roundtable meeting was held with leaders of Soroti, Serere, Ngora in Teso and Kitgum and Gulu Districts in Acholi region.

Teso Sub-region
Soroti District:
The  RIC-NET team attended a budget conference for Soroti District on 26th June and shared with both political and CSO leaders on the vision of enhancing information sharing through ICT to boost social accountability.

on 27th June, the team met with District Chairperson Mr.Ebunyu George Micheal, the Chief Administrative officer Mr.Okello and ACAO Jane Akiror among others.
some of the issues discussed were activating and redesigning the District website  www.soroti.go.ug that was provided by UCC, development of the E-library and establishing the ICT Resource Centre. 
  The District leadership was very willing to partner with PAC Uganda and RIC-NET to realise the set ideal.  It was recommended that further technical details be discussed with the PPO Mr. Simon Okanya and the Acting District  information officer who was not present.

The leaders assured the team of their support whenever needed and the following action were to follow:
  • PAC-Uganda to formalize the partnership by availing and signing the M.O.U with the District such that the technical process commences.
  •   The District to get details  of passwords from U.C.C 
  • The District staff to start collecting current departmental information.
Serere District
The meeting was held in the C.A.O's office at Serere District Local Government Headquarters.
The District leaders led by  the District Chairperson included the District speaker, the Chief Administrative Officer (C.A.O) and the incharge of the website at the District.
The team discussed issues around re-design and development of the District website and e-library, online platform to facilitate social accountability and the bulk sms. www.serere.go.ug is active but has with some challenges and therefore that would need more input. The district leadership appreciated the idea of this technical support and pledged maximum support and co-operation. However, the leaders cautioned the CSO to remain as Civil society and not opposition party agents.

The way forward was that;
Ø  An M.O.U is signed between Serere District and PAC-Uganda so that work can officially start. The district focal person to start collecting current information from departments so as work to become much easier and quicker as it starts.PAC Uganda should organize a district roundtable meeting with all leaders and CSO in the District; and a workshop should be organized to educate some CSO on how the local Government Structures work.  And that design and development of the two online platforms to be done and online 8 weeks after the signing of the M.O.U.
 The C.A.O Serere promised to write to those hosting and maintaining their website to release to them the C-panel details (passwords) so that they can have full access to their site to enable the Technical team start working.

Ngora District
The meeting was held on 27th June 2012 in the C.A.Os office, Ngora District Local Government headquarters.
The team met the  Chief Administrative Officer  Ngora and shared alot on social accountability and information sharing platforms including the online platforms. 
The District does not have a website and the support to design the District website and e-library was highly welcomed.
The chief Administrative officer was supportive and welcomed the initiative.

As away forward,Ngora District and PAC-Uganda will formalize the process by signing the M.O.U between the two parties and technical work would commence immediately. Details on how to include other online platforms would be discussed in subsequent meeting with both the political leaders and the District civil servants.

Acholi Region
In the Acholi region, two Districts were surveyed and interface meetings were held with the District leaders.
Kitgum District

The meeting was held on 28th June 2012 at the District head quarters in Kitgum. Present were the District Chair Person, District speaker, the District Data Clerk, ACORD staff in kitgum field office and Gulu office, and RIC-NET/CEW-IT staff.
Issues discussed were a build up on what ACORD had shared with the District about the project and also specifically the design and development of the district website and E-library. key issues that these platforms would enhance was: Information sharing and access to all stake holders;     Increasing the District visibility and popularity;  Having district officials corporate e-mails; Having district important documents online for easy access to the entire community among others.
 All the above advantages were explained to all District leaders in all the Districts.
The district speaker appreciated and welcomed the initiative and pledged cooperation. Kitgum had a website  before but went down due to issues of maintenance it and thus calling for fresh design.
It was originally www.kitgum.go.ug .
As for the way forward,  An M.O.U to be signed between ACORD and the District to enable official commencement of the project.
The Data clerk to get back to the technical team (RIC-NET) by Wednesday 4th July about the proceedings with U.C.C.

  C.A.O to write formally to

 U.C.C and those who hosted the site before for all administrative rights (C-panel details) so as to enable the technical team access the back end of the site.
The data clerk to start collecting current information from all departments to enable speeding up work.

Gulu District

The meeting was held on 29th June 2012 at the District headquarters Gulu.
The officials met were the District ICT personnel and the same idea of the two online platforms was discussed with him.
He also indicated that they had designed some template/ mockup site of how they would want their website look like.
He stressed that Gulu has a running website www.gulu.go.ug but also with a number of challenges and would advocate the redesign and development. Therefore the way forward was;
  An M.O.U to be signed between ACORD and the District as the first issue that will act as the entry point. The draft mock up to be shared on mail by RIC-NET so as to guide us design the website according to their preferences. The District ICT personnel to also share the current website administrative details with RIC-NET technical team. The District ICT personnel to contact C.A.O to write to the heads of department requesting them to prepare current and updated information for the website. And also the ICT personnel to go ahead and collect this departmental information.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Questioning Service delivery in Kabarole District:

Like any other day of the last month of the government year, 27th  June, 2012, was a big step in questioning service delivery in Kabarole district. The monitors in Busoro sub county, Kabarole  district, organized a joint monitoring exercise with the district water department, sub county leadership and the community on Wednesday, 27th June, 2012. Morning was cool and all monitors assembled at the sub county for a briefing by the team leaders. Present were: The Chairperson LCIII Busoro, Mr. John Young, Health Inspector, Incharge Rwengaju HCII, sub county councilors, community monitors led by Mr. Paul. In attendance was also Ms. Margerate Abwooli, staff RIDE Africa, and the RWECO staff.
Going by the word, the team headed to Ibale parish to monitor the newly constructed shallow well. At the shallow well, the community were already mobilized by the local councilors and pointed out their concerns regarding the shallow well. Important to note was that the shallow well had never been handed over to the community and no water user management committee had been elected- the big question asked was, how did the contractor execute work without a project management committee? The LCIII chair was caught in surprise and could not answer. While the health inspector gave his opinion the community could not accept any explanation without the shallow well being handed over and all structures put in place. Vigilant to public service delivery in the parish, the Bataka immediately summoned the LCIII chairperson for a meeting at the shallow well to sort out the mess and fix the gaps. The meeting was scheduled for Saturday 7th  July, 2012
LCIII Chair, holding bottle after tasting the water from the shallow well
The monitoring team headed to Rwengaju Parish, Busoro Sub county, Kabarole district. Rwengaju Parish is “UN Village” a food basket for Kabarole and Uganda. We headed to monitor the shallow well, but what did the community say about the shallow well “ IZIBA LYA CHAIRMANI” loosely translated the Shallow well for the Chairman LCI. Only to reach there, the  shallow well  had been abandoned by the bataka because the water was salty. Armed to the teeth, the LCIII chairperson defied the rules and tasted the water- “ halimu ekisura”, then the health inspector tasted “ the water is salty” one of the monitors asked, was there any testing of the water? The Health inspector, replied that, all the three tastes were done and the water was approved to be good for drinking and use but only the bataka had not been sensitized to use the water, the water user management committee was not doing their work as per the guidelines. That’s how public funds can go to waste asserted a female monitor. Mr. Jimmy Odyek, asked the LCIII chairperson how much funds had been spent on the shallow well, the team was informed that UGX 3,800,000/= had been spent, and that for the sub county had constructed 103 shallow wells, about UGX 391,400,000/= serving a population of 35000 people. At that shallow well, all the participants in the monitoring exercise realized that government funds can go to waste if not well monitored as we met children and elderly women fetching water at the nearest un protected water point that was presumably tasty for drinking and washing clothes. What a day in Rwengaju a “UN Village”
Monitors at Rwengaju HCII
Everybody encouraged to find a better reason to explain his/her time during the day, we all headed to Rwengaju Health Center II, where the In-Charge had joined the monitoring team. At the HCII, we met the staff on duty who moved us around the health unit. Sanitation was clean, water available in the water harvesting tank, toilets clean, reason headed by the woman one monitor lamented. Then I took a keen eye, indeed I went to the toilets to justify the comments “ all was clean” that showed how female nurses were managers. What about the funding- we established that, each financial year, an indicative planning figure (PHC) of UGX 1,800,000/= was given to the HUMAC, but how much actually was released was UGX 850,000/= targeting 9000 people in Rwengaju Parish, “UN village”. Lets subject this to mathematics pa capita expenditure= 850000/9000= 94.4. When the analyst mentioned that Ugx. 94.4, was meant for PHC per person for the whole year, the team burst into laughter of annoyance. How can that be? But it has happened, more so the incharge informed the team that the Ugx 850,000/= was not a guarantee.
Immediately the community monitors realized the need for community monitoring and feedback from the leaders. During the session of sharing the monitoring sharing at Rwengaju Parish hall, it was recommended that the sub county leadership should sensitized the community about water and sanitation, health and education. RIDE Africa was asked to participate in the exercise where they pledged a radio talkshow to the LCIII Chairperson.

What was my take from the monitoring exercise:
Local solutions to local problems by the concerned people, other then waiting for the presidential pledge of constructing a GFS to serve Rwengaju, the local leadership can still do a lot in sensitizing and involving the local community.
Government program if not well monitored can go to waste as evidenced by the abandoned shallow well in Rwengaju, I believe there are many more projects that have been abandoned due  to poor workmanship in the country side.
Monitors and RWECO staff, admire the Busoro magnificent Kyaninga hotel
Local initiatives are more sustainable than top down projects- that elderly woman who mentioned that “ iziba la chairmani”  is an indicator  that the  project  was top down, if we go by that, we can find many more projects of that nature.
What about the social life in Rwengaju “UN Village” the monitoring team visited one of the places to be while in Busoro sub county.. out of town, environmentally friendly  with the most attractive Tooro scenery- Kyaninga Hotel in the heart of Busoro sub county

Compiled by:
RWECO Staff in the field