Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kasese District donates Shs. 500 million to middlemen in Mawa Market

Kasese District Civil Society Organizations, supported by the European Union adopted the RWECO- Kasese District Budget Analysis 2012 as a position paper  that was presented to the Kasese District budget Conference held on Friday 21, December 2012 at Diocese of Kasese, SSD-Hall, Kasese Municipality.  A presentation was made by Ms. Sheila K, a staff from RWECO with the support  of the four Civil Society supported by European Union:  FURA, Rwenzori Peace Bridge, KADNET and Red Cross on locating the vulnerable in Kasese district Budget and Plan as discussed on 19/12/2012 during a round table meeting. The chair of the session was the Chairperson LC V, Kasese district, Lt Col (Rtd) Dula Mawa Muhindo
(File Photo) Lt.Col. (Rtd) Dula Mawa Muhindo, Kasese District LCV Chairperson

Reaction from the District Leaders all started with a phrase thank you for opening our eyes and the budget analysis was used as a reference for prioritizing activities for the financial year 2013/2014. Councilors used the information in the budget analysis to advocate for  among others:
i)                     budget allocation to the water sector that was under funded,
Business in Mawa Market, Kasese Municipality: Matooke is mainly imported from neighboring districts
ii)                  Distribution of water according to the zoning,
iii)                Specific mention and consideration for the vulnerable in the NAADs
iv)                Improved production in agriculture by adding value to agriculture through modern technologies.
One counselor asked “Why does Kasese donate  money by buying Matooke after learning that annually over Ugx. 0.5bn  as given in the  Mawa market case in the Budget Analysis.  The chairperson LC5 was concerned about the need to increase local revenue in the district so as to become self reliant instead of depending on central government transfer. It was agreed that the technical planning committees should involve the CSOs in the planning as well as consider their budget in planning. Another gratifying experience was the Education Department that has  acknowledged RWECO as development partner in the district and allocated it a revenue projection of UGX 1000/=. This was interesting as most departments only recognized the international donors. The findings by the monitors were reacted on by the counselors referring to our report like Karusandara Health centre that had no latrine
 Bravo to all the members of the CSO for the support as well as positioning ourselves well.  See details: , , 

In summary the Kasese district Budget Analysis revealed the following:
      Locally raised revenue is only 1.95% of the total budget of Ugx. 41,683,630.
      Donor funding takes only 12.3%
      Local development grant is only 2.8%
      Government transfers is only 82.9%
      This indicates a high dependency on government transfers.
      There is need to explore other local revenue sources – such as the informal sector (e.g Artisans)
      Education takes 48.2% of the total Kasese District budget  while Kamwenge is 37.2%, Kabarole 47%, National 17%
      Health takes 9.9% (Kamwenge 9.07%, National 11%)
      Water takes 0.17%
      Production takes 8.1% (Kabarole 9%, National 5%)

Case of the Production Sector:
      Total budget for production sector = 3,382,200,000/
      Its takes only 8.1% of the total Kasese LG budget
      NAADS = 79.2% of the production budget.
      Let us pose a question; if the 79.2% will translate into improved productivity
      By observation, at least more than 3 trucks bring in matooke to Mawa Market from outside Kasese district;
      A bunch of matooke of 50Kg costs Ugx. 20,000=
      Over 500 bunches are sold= 500 x 20,000 = 10,000,000 weekly x 4 x12 = 480,000,000million
      This is what Kasese district residents donate to the middle men every year.
      Yet we spend 79.2% of the production  budget on NAADs and still depend on imported matooke- where is the value for money spent?
      This 480million  could have been revenue for Kasese district if we were able to produce our own food, however that is revenue for out side districts.
      That means Kasese district can not produce enough for its own population
      Window of hope, the district has redirected the NAADs priorities after realizing that Kasese district was food insecure.
      From the records, the PWDs are reflected in the NAADs sector
      Inclusive groups have not helped to bring out the plight of the vulnerable groups
      Need to locate the vulnerable groups in the LG processes- PWDs, women, youths ( FY 2013/14)
      Sensitizing staff to handle children with hearing/vision impairment- health workers
      Inspire young girls/women to take up leadership positions ( only 61/365) by role models/senior civil servants
      CBS take advantage of the NGOs/CBOs in the district to meet its sector objectives
      NGOs/CBOs participate in the LG process right from the LCI- district level ( FY 2013/14)
      During the planning process, district should take cognizant of the geographical zones- Highlands, low lands, pastoral and salt/lake areas
      Water sector take affirmative action for PWDs by planning for water harvesting tanks
      Need for affirmative action in the NAADs sector- PWDs

Merry Christmas To all.
Sheila K

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gulu and Kitgum extend appreciation for their designed online platforms

The long journey across the country that started on Tuesday, all the way from the west to the North of the country (Uganda) did not go unfruitful. With RIC-NET ICT staff Yosia and Charles Asiimwe travelling to Gulu and Kitgum for the training of the District leaders and stake holders on the use and utilization of their websites and E-libraries.
The training that started on Thursday 6th - 7th Dec. 2012 was attended by District leaders from Gulu and kitgum and ACORD staff. A total number of 16 participants attended this interactive two days training at Kakanyero Hotel in Gulu Municipality.
Training Session
With a bright Thursday morning, the participants were introduced to the basics and fundamentals of ICT (web browsing). A number of terms were explained to the participants which was like an ice breaker to the rest of the training.
There was later a questions and answers session that was so interactive and interesting and members consulted on a number of issues and solutions were given by the facilitators accordingly.
The second session later characterized by an introduction of web applications used to develop their websites sites was presented to them among which was basics to Joomla since they (District leaders) are supposed to update their sites on their own later after the end of the project in order to sustain them and keep up to date information on the sites.
This was later followed by a number of practical skills where they were showed how it works and how easy it is to use the application to develop their online platforms.
Questions and clarifications were made by end of day and the training ended at 5:00 pm given the heavy load that the facilitators had to give to the participants.
Later in the evening the RIC-NET staff who were also the facilitators in this case were given a platform by ACORD on 102 Mega FM in Gulu town to explain to the entire Acholi region about the relevance of the online platforms being developed in the “Enhancing Civic competence for Social Accountability project” that is being run in the 25 Districts in the five regions of Uganda.The project is jointly implemented by CEFORD, ACORD,RWECO, PAC and FHRI.
RIC-NET staff on Mega FM-Gulu
Present for the talk show were Loum Benard from ACORD (Project officer), Juma the radio presenter and moderator for the talk show, Peter Ocen (Gulu District ICT Officer), Charles Asiimwe Sytems Admin.RIC-NET and Yosia Baluku (ICTO-RIC-NET).
A number of issues were explained to the entire community of Acholi which among others include, the history of the website project by UCC, the home pages and how the social accountability project came in to offer support after all had not gone on well previously.
A number of advantages for these online platforms to the District administration, business community and the entire citizens of Acholi were explained and among others included;
Ø  Global publication of the Districts’ opportunities, potentials e.t.c
Ø  Repository for the district information and thus stored safely for long
Ø  Districts adverts and current news updates on time
Ø  Timely and relevant information
Ø  Easy access to public documents
Ø  Help researchers get right information about the status of the districts in which ever department e.t.c
Listeners called in later at the end of the show and gave their views, others appreciated and others were also seeking for more clarification and guidance and also others supplementing.
 Day two started with a recap of day one that was also another interactive and participatory one. This indicated that the participants had grasped a number of issues from the day one training.

Participants were later given more details of the installation of joomla and later sites presented to them. They appreciated the design of the sites and e-libraries that are hosted at , , , .
Later the District leaders gave comments, input and suppliments on their sites what to change and what to improve. All changes were noted and promised to be effected.
Members also appreciated the design of the e-libraries and said it was much easier to interact and work with after being taken through the session of login and updating them.
Later a session of the social media that has eased communication and information sharing was presented to them. Skype, twitter among others was introduced to the participants and promised to take them on for easy information sharing.

Way forward
Since there was limited data for their sites they all promised to avail the necessary information to have everything done for their sites.
They also agreed on some login details for their e-libraries to go and do practice
And that also incase of any technical issues they would not hesitate getting back to us.
They also expressed a concern that the two days training was not enough and that more trainings should be extended to individual districts.
In her closing remarks the Deputy Chief Administrative officer Kitgum Ms Oroma Rhoda  expressed gratitude for the training and thanked ACORD that had brought the facilitators on board for the wonderful training and support to the districts.
C.A.O Gulu giving closing remarks
The function was later officially closed by the chief Administrative officer Gulu Ms. Odwar Santa who expressed her sincere thanks for the training and also said it was nice and good for the district leaders. She challenged them to take on the responsibility and share with the rest of the leaders when they go back. She also said the leaders should have gone with enough skills since she had grabbed a number of things for the little time she was there “for the little time I have sat here, I have been able to understand and learn more. So for you who have been here for two days, I believe you should grasped a lot”
She wished everybody a very safe journey back to their destinations and thereafter a lunch on at the very hotel Kakanyero.
Participants pose for a group photo after the training