ToroDev has been highly involved in mentoring and supporting the initiation and strengthening advocacy forums to champion the demanding of improved service delivery and democratic engagement through the use of ICT tools like radio, phones, online plat forms like face book, twitter, Ushahidi, skype, among others in the Rwenzori Region districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Ntoroko, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge and Bundibugyo. The advocacy forums are community’s own initiated initiatives meant to sustainably monitor and advocate for improved service delivery and demand accountability from the local leaders.
Advocacy forums have been highly involved in organizing the community to demand for better services from the local leaders. “All our roads had been destroyed by the heavy trucks that carry pozzalana. We went on radio several times appealing to the local leaders to intervene but nothing was done. We then organized the community for a peaceful demonstration against the poor roads and leaders were able to intervene and as I talk, some of the roads have been worked on such as Kyakagusa road, Kisanga-Headquater road, Kagogo-Kaguma road, among others”, said Rwaheru Gilbert, the Chairperson of Kicwamba Forum for Development and Service Delivery in Kicwamba Sub County, Kabarole District.
Rural monitors of Bufunjo Sub County in Kyenjojo District have also gone ahead to monitor their local leaders against improper use of office and public funds. “As rural monitors, we have followed up and monitored corrupt leaders who are affecting proper service delivery. Bufunjo Sub County received 152(one hundred and fifty two) bicycles from the ministry to help VHTs(Village Health Teams) run their activities. However, the Sub County Health Assistant made a private meeting with the coordinators in which they agreed to impose a charge of Shs. 30,000 on each VHT member who was going to receive the bicycle. As a forum, we informed the concerned leaders who are helping us to follow up the issue”, said Mr. Tibeha John Bosco, the general secretary of Bufunjo People’s Forum.
Advocacy Forums have worked hand in hand with radio journalists by forwarding community issues to the journalists for broadcasting which has increased information and knowledge sharing. “By broadcasting in local languages, local people have been informed especially on issues relating to service delivery and accountability. The radio discussions have also provided better ways to involve local leaders for accountability and also demand for better services from them”, said Muhindo Ezra, the Chairperson of Katebwa Advocacy Forum in Katebwa Sub County, Kabarole District.
In conclusion, there is need to conduct more sensitization meetings with members of the rural advocacy forums/rural monitors to empower them with skills to skillfully engage with their local leaders for improved service delivery.