Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Rwenzori Consortium for Civic competence has today been in a closed final reporting on the EU-HIVOS funded “Enhancing Civic Competence for social accountability in 25 districts in 5 regions of Uganda” project that closes today at mid night.

RWECO has been implementing this project in five Districts in the Rwenzori region in 11 Sub counties
Her members Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development, Ride Africa, Karambi Action for Life Improvement and RIC-NET had a full day reporting at the RWECO board room in Kasese.
Each organization highlighted and reported on a number of activities that were implemented in the last quarter of the project (April-June) which later be integrated to have a final report.
In attendance were the project focal persons and Accountants of the four RWECO organizations.

There after the team joined together for a toast in the evening at White house gardens.
Right after the reporting session.

Monday, June 24, 2013

District leaders in Teso and Central regions trained in web site and E-library management

Bright on a Monday afternoon, the RIC-NET/RWECO ICT team got on the wheels to Teso region to equip the District leaders with ICT skills.
The training that kicked off on a Tuesday 18th -19th June 2013 at Public Affairs Center (PAC) Uganda in Soroti town attracted District leaders from Soroti, Kaberamaido, Serere and Ngora. In attendance were the District Information officers, Records officers, District Planners among others.
The two days comprehensive training started with remarks and highlights from the PAC Executive Director Mr. Benson who welcomed the leaders for having honored the invitation and turned up for the training saying it was a good sign of public private partnership. He also welcomed the facilitators from RIC-NET who had gone to conduct the training.
The hands on training saw the leaders through website updating and E-library management which they appreciated and promised to use the E-platforms effectively to share information timely.
“We really liked the training and we hope it’s going to help us update our websites and share timely information” said one of the trainees. The trainees were taken through social media like twitter, skype and also blogging as another way of sharing information in time.
The four districts that attended the training appreciated the design of their District platforms. E-libraries at , , and . The districts promised to avail information and those that had it availed it to the technical staff and they were promised to have their websites up as soon as they are fed with data to be hosted at in that order.
The training in numbers attracted 12 participants 10 male and 2 female.

To the central
Late evening of a Wednesday was another long route that led the ICT team to the central region ready for the training in Kiboga and Kayunga Districts.
The Kiboga training took place on 20th -21st June 2013 at Kiboga District headquarters in the Information office.
This attracted the District information officer, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and the Records officer.
Same content as for Teso was administered to the Kiboga team which also appreciated the training.
Kayunga District received the same training from 24th -25th June 2013 at kayunga District headquarters. The training attracted 4 female and 1 male making a total of 5 participants.


Nyantungo Sub county with a population of 42,600 is served by only one private health Clinic: As development partners, we are all obliged to strategically plan and save our future generation by enhancing civic competence and ensuring effective service delivery; building a firm foundation through utilizing the available opportunities and filling gaps in service delivery;   This was the case, during the interface meeting with the leaders of Kyenjojo district Local government  and RIDE Africa a member of on the findings of the vertical tracking of public expenditure exercise conducted in Katooke Town Council,  Katooke sub county and Nyantungo sub county
In the water sector, the district authorities was acknowledged for   their tireless efforts in the Construction of water facilities in the communities to ensure supply of safe and clean water in Katooke and Nyantungo sub counties,   some of the water facilities were found fenced e.g.  Karongo  bore hole  and there were reports of community contribution a cost hare for the construction of the water facility.  The fact that Nyakisi Gravity Flow Scheme was serving the community of Katooke TC and Katooke Sub County with clean and safe water could not go unmentioned.

Leaders of Nyantungo sub county, Kyenjojo district during the vertical tracking exercise

However, there were some gaps that were hindering access to safe and clean water for example Ihamba shallow well that was constructed in the 2011/12 F/Y  had  developed a crack of about 3 fit moreover the Ihamba shallow  costed the tax payer 3.4 Million and if crack was not fixed  6 households will not access safe and clean water. Inconsistence in water supply e.g.  Karongo water borehole which costed 19 million , was not handed over to the community and stops working at 4:00 PM. Non functionality of water user committees 75% of water facilities visited were not functional. Can we strengthen the pump attendants? Clarity on ownership was not clear as there was no documentation of agreements from the land owners e.g. Nyakisi GFS,  Ihamba shallow well, Kidubuli. To my  surprise the sub county authorities did not know how much the water facility cost the district authorizes as  contract documents are not shared with sub county authorities for example at  Nyakisi the land owner has planted the sugarcane and eucalyptus trees in the water catchment are. 
Community members during the Nyantungo sub county, Kyenjojo district

 In health, the interface meeting focused on  whether   the expenditure on Health is justified   and  what we have achieved  in terms of quality and accessibility of  health service. Also   weather the expenditure in Health translates into improved quality of life result.  But who is responsible? All of us have a role to play in improving the quality of health services. It Is one thing having a health  facility  in the area but equipping the health facilities with the necessary tool and Human Resource. But what about a sub county with no any government health Unit!!!! IT sounds strange but this is the situation of Nyantungo  sub county which has no public health Facility. The community members  get services from ST. Edwards Clinic which on average treats 300 children and 500 adult per month  who spend a minimum of  20,000/= each.  In simple terms the communities spend 16,000,000 per month in accessing health services. What about the poor?   To make matters worse 100 mothers used to deliver from St. Edward per month when it was initially supported by Strides to subsidence the cost of maternity and currently without the support they serve only 15 deliveries per month. What is the implication of this?, Have  mother stopped delivering or it because they cannot afford  the cost and have resorted to traditional systems? We can use the health sector PPP strategy to support the communities in Nyantuingo to access PHC through St. Edwards Clinic

  Whereas  Nyantungo sub county is complaining of lacked of a health centre Katooke town council  that is blessed to have Katooke health Center III  complains that  PHC funding  is not sufficient e.g.  they only receive between 1.5 – 2M per quarter to serve both Sub County and Town Council with a population  of   Non functionality of health unit management committees e and poor administration e.g.  at Katooke HC III administration has not put in place a finance committee 
  Suggested Recommendations by RIDE AFRICA  a member of RWECO are as follows;
  • Training of  Water user and Health Unit management committees on their roles
  • Empowering communities to engage with local authorities to deliver improved quality services;
  • Facilitate Water pump attendants to maintain water facilities
·         Use the health sector PPP  to work with private clinics to extend PHC services to the most vulnerable communities
  • Facilitate Nyantungo Sub county with a government health facility.
  • Sensitize communities on ownership and maintenance of government programs
  • Joint monitoring of Service delivery in the communities
  • Share project documents with lower local governments
  • Bi- annual review of District and Sub County work plans
  • Follow up of the commitments made by leaders and Community members.

Thanks to efforts of the Chief Administrative Officer,  the District Health Officer, CSO partners,  and  district Community Development Officer   who endeavored to answer the concerns of the during the interface. The answers circulated around lack of resources and the government policies.  In my view, the government’s policy of ensuring that the existing facilities are fully functional with necessary staffing and equipment it is good as quality service delivery but the district should not under estimate the hard to reach communities that have no health facilities.
 Nyantungo Sub County should be considered as a special case since the community members in Ruhoko have committed 5000 bricks, land and cash worth 200,000 shillings. Therefore their efforts should not be under estimated.

By Sheila K

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


RWECO and the Kyenjojo district local government were engaged in tracking of poverty resources after RWECO and her partner RIDE AFRICA presented to the district leadership the analyzed 2012/13 budgets and plans and the impact on the poor women and men. The district and RWECO identified Local Governments where the vertical tracking should be carried out with the sub county technical and political wing with support from RWECO and her partner RIDE AFRICA.

The vertical tracking exercise comprosed of anlysing the sub county and district budgets, the quarterly releases from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development to Local Government ( New vision of 17 and 18th May, 2013)

Two rural sub counties were identified ( Katooke Sub county and Nyantungo Sub county) and one urban LG unit of  Katooke Town Council.

Projects identified were: Nyakisi Gravity Flow Scheme estimated to have costed Ugx. 1.2bn  built in two phases, 8 Shallow wells each costing Ug 3.8M, 4 Bore halls costing 19M each, Katooke Health Center III and Mayiri HCII in Katooke Sub county

The Water Office, Katooke TC, explaining to the monitoring team how the Ug 1.2bn was used to construct the Nyakisi GFS serving  5000 households in Katooke TC and Katooke Sub county

At Nyakisi GFS, the team established that the land owner had planted sugar canes and Euclaptus trees in the water catchment area, the breather and fence  on the intake tank had be vandalized and the wash out pipe was also damaged. The Water Office costed the damage at Ugx. 2.5M

Katooke HCIII
Government Aided HCIII

Main building at Katooke HC III

At Katooke HCIII, the team established that the UPDF had renovated the Maternity ward during the Terah Sita events ( Feb. 6, 2013), the Center serves both Katooke TC and Katooke Sub county. The HUMC was elected but not functional, PHC funds released to the HCIII was  between Ug 1.5-2.0M per quarter, no finance committee was in place as reported by the LCIII chairperson Katooke TC and the team was informed by the in patients how a guard called Moses switches off lights at night. The Katooke TC LCIII chairperson Mr. Nkonge Edward was concerned by that and ordered the the incharge to stop immediately since PHC funds were meant to meet such costs.

Katooke sub county LCIII Chairperson ( Standing) responding to issues raised during the joint sub county meeting
Ms. Margaret K (standing) presenting the findings of the vertical tracking to the Kyenjojo district leaders. Right is Mr. Martin Jacan Gwokto, Chief Administrative Officer of Kyenjojo District June, 2013
The Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Martin, tasked to DHO and Water Officer to respond to the issues raised of which the DHO reported that, his office had included Nyantungo Sub county in the 2013/14 budget since the sub county did not have any health facility. While also in Nyantungo sub county, the DHO pledged to support St. Edwards Clinic which private to carry out immunization and out reach services

Kidubuli Shallow well used by the community in Katooke Town Council
The Town Clerk, Katooke Town Council promised to rehabilitate the Kidubuli Shallow well by 30th June, 2013 at a cost of Ug 1.2M. That was a big move in the right direction for RWECO and RIDE AFRICA team that the leaders were giving immediate action to the issues raised.

Katooke TC and Katooke Sub county leaders in a meeting with RWECO during the presentation of the vertical tracking findings

During the vertical tracking of Poverty resources RWECO and the community team monitors brought to the attention of both the sub county, town council and district leaders the unseen cases of PWDs, elderly how in planning for water resources, they are left out and at Katooke HCIII, how there were no delivery beds for PWDS yet staff reported cases who visit and were handled but with difficult.

Ms. Erina Musumba presenting a petition from Nyantungo Sub county to the Kyenjojo district technical team, June 2013
While social accountability work demands we must make informed research, RWECO has gained more by involving the technical and political teams in verifying the community monitors findings and making a report that is owned by all the teams.


Ms. Margaret Kabusinguzi
Mr. Sam Rukiidi
Ms. Erina Musumba
Mr. Wilson Amooti
Mr. Rogers Araali
Ms. Sheila Kengingo
Mr. Jimmy B. Odyek
Rev. Isaiah Mucunguzi (Chair)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Agriculture is the largest contributor to Africa’s future economic growth

Publish Date: Jun 16, 2013
By Warren Nyamugasira

Recently, our leaders have been commemorating, on our behalf, 50 years since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU). Despite the twists and turns over the past five decades, African people have a lot to celebrate. A look at selected poverty indices quickly shows that Africa has made incredible progress in the fight against extreme poverty in the last decade alone.

According to credible statistics, between 1999 and 2008, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day in Sub-Saharan Africa decreased from 56.5% to 47.5% (UNDP 2012). In Uganda, it has come down to below 30%.The number of people on Anti-Retroviral treatment in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 50,000 in 2002 to whooping 6.2 million in 2011 (UNAIDS 2012) and between 2000 and 2010, deaths attributed to malaria fell by 33% (WHO 2012).

 On access to improved water sources, there was an increase of 12% between 1990 and 2010, as a result of which 273 million more people have clean water (WHO and UNICEF 2012). When it comes to enrolments in primary school in sub-Saharan Africa, there was a jump by 50.8 million children between 1999 and 2010 (UNESCO 2012).

On the economic front, between 2000 and 2010 growth across sub-Saharan Africa averaged between 4% and 7% (except for 2009) and Africa was home to six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies. Over the decade 1999 – 2008, electricity production rose by a third in sub-Saharan Africa, from 318.0 billion kWh to 423.9 billion kWh (WB 2012)

And yet Africa remains challenged, lagging behind the other continents on almost all human development indices. For example, disposable income keeps shrinking while the cost of living keeps rising. So as Africa looks to the next 50 years, we need to ask some pertinent questions. How can the world’s richest continent in terms of natural resources, size, rapid economic growth and a rising middle class, continue to lag behind on most of the human development indices? Aware of the Kinyankole saying that “otamukweitse ati mwikarire tugyende”, which roughly translates as finish the job so we can proceed, the idea that “it is easier said than done”, still we ask: How do we get more income to more people? How can we generate more jobs across the spectrum at a time when unemployment is globally a thorn in the flesh? For many of Sub-Saharan countries, which African promise is the most potent a key to unlocking Africa’s development potential? Could agriculture be the key?

Yes. It is clear that in Africa, agriculture is the single largest contributor to future economic growth. To begin with, it is a well-known fact that growth in agricultural is sector is 2.5 times as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors (statistics by the World Bank).  It is estimated that with proper investment and management, agricultural output in Africa could increase from $280b per year to as much as $880b by 2030. This is hard to beat by other sources of prosperity. Moreover, with more than two-thirds of our citizens today dependent on farming for their livelihoods, increasing attention and investment in the sector and ensuring that investment well utilised is, therefore, one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty and get Sub-Saharan Africa per capita income to the first $1000.

Evidence shows that, where it has taken place, systematic and targeted agricultural investment helps farmers earn their way out of poverty, increase exports, and provide communities and families with sustainable and increased incomes.

Today, those African countries which went through with the commitment to invest up to 10% or more of their national budgets to agriculture, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Senegal, Rwanda, Malawi and Ethiopia  – have reaped dividends. Ethiopia, the AU host country, stands out; from 2008 – 2011 almost 20% of government spending (more than what Uganda spends on education) was invested in agriculture. Consequently agriculture productivity rose each year by almost a quarter.

The country also has a clear 10-year plan for transforming agriculture as a catalyst for industrialisation. Countries that are yet to register similar outcomes have had their own reasons why they have not yet been able to ‘put the opponent down’ and proceed. Some like Uganda have also had to pacify the country and contribute to pacifying the region; some are still recovering from bad policies forced on them by the World Bank and IMF while others focused on other sectors such as primary school enrolment or like the horn and the Sahel, repeatedly suffered natural disasters such as severe droughts.

Be that as it may, a recent report by the ONE Campaign (A Growing Opportunity: Measuring Investments in African Agriculture) shows that some nine countries have done well but by and large investment in infrastructure, technology, and market development for the sector remains very low and in need of greatest and most urgent attention.

Opportunities offered by agriculture to boost Africa’s fortunes still remain under lock and key; and while the key has not been completely lost, it seems to be mixed up with a bunch of other keys such that those responsible can’t quite tell which key is the right one.

Our own PMA has suffered ups and downs down the years and now remains in political limbo. Donor priorities also keep shifting making it difficult to stay the course. While paying lip service to agriculture as a catalyst for future growth for African economies, most still relegate agriculture to serving a subsistence role.

Presently, and this has been so since the demise of the cooperative movement, it takes civil society organisations to make noise for agriculture. For example, they have been the ones spearheading the campaign for an agricultural bank and the revival of proper cooperatives, not just SACCOS. This needs to change. Agriculture must move up the ladder of policy priorities.

 Warren Nyamugasira is an economist and policy activist
Accessed on Sunday 16th June, 2013 from: