Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Candidates are free to use social media in campaigns but not for malicious statements.

The district police commander (DPC) Kabarole district Mr.Tibakirana Musa has urged all candidates at all levels soliciting for votes this election period to avoid bribery of voters, use of malicious statements, sectarian statements, abusive language & other forms of statements that incite violence during this campaign period.

The DPC was discussing live on ToroDev supported ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ program that is aired live on KRC Fm every Wednesday 8:00pm-10pm. 
The DPC said for the period since the campaigns started, as a district we have not had cases related to elections and reminded the citizens that police is neutral and that it will accord necessary assistance to candidates equally including personal security & security to election materials ‘’All our work is guided by the constitution of Uganda, police Act & political party Act’’, said Mr. Tibakirana Musa, the DPC Kabarole district.

The DPC requested both candidates & electorates to avoid behaving as if this is the last time we are holding elections. He asked candidates & voters to act responsibly in that if one loses this period, he/she can compete again in the next 5 years.

Meanwhile Mr.Tumwesigye V. Kanzira, the Kabarole district returning officer while discussing live in the studios of KRC Fm on the topic;  what voters/candidates   should know in this campaign period; said all candidates that went through the electoral commission nominations are equal whether one is new in the field or is an incubate. Mr. Tumwesigye said a candidate may not necessarily inform the electoral commission whenever he/she is holding a rally in a particular area provided a copy of the program was submitted to the electoral commission before kick starting the campaigns, which should be followed & in case of any changes, the electoral commission should be informed.

Mr. Tumwesigye further said as electoral commission our work is guided by the constitution of Uganda, local government Act, electoral commission Act, political parties Act,etc ‘’The campaign time is from 8:00am -6:00pm and beyond this time one will be acting illegally and if caught, there is a case to answer’’, said Mr. Tumwesigye.

 He urged candidates & their political assistants to avoid the use of abusive language & requested candidates with access to radio stations to use them the right way to solicit for votes and avoid hard words that may cause problems to a candidate and the radio station as well.

The 2 hours live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Kaahwa Kansengerwa on 9th December, 2015.

We are grateful to all our partners for the financial & technical support.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Our leaders lack Fiscal discipline

There are two ways in which we can control our economy from losing value as Ugandans and these are through; Monetary & Fiscal policies. Uganda’s economy is affecting the youth mostly because the biggest percentage is unemployed.

 This was said by Mr. Bwambale Kadir a lecturer at Mountains of the moon University in Fort Portal during the ToroDev supported ‘Listeners Forum’ program that is aired live every Sunday 8:00pm – 10:00pm on Jubilee radio.

All the three organs of government; Executive, Judiciary & Parliament need to work hand in hand with the bank of Uganda to regulate credit circulation & have selective credit control so that our investment as a country can go to where we can benefit in the next years to come.

Mr. Bwambale further said, as a country we need to encourage more foreign investments whereby investors can invest in setting up big factories and in so doing money will be coming into the country other than being taken away because people will have jobs. Mr. Bwambale also said that government needs to encourage public savings because today people think those earning in millions can be the only ones to save.

Meanwhile Mr. Mutalesa Joseph a lecturer at Uganda Pentecostal University in Fort Portal while appearing live on Listeners program said, government needs to have a social & political will and liberalization of the mind whereby the set priorities on investments can benefit the people in few years.

The 2 hours live radio discussion was joined by listeners through call-inns & Sms platforms and   is hosted by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred Abooki.

Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred Abooki, Moderator 'Listeners' Forum Program

We are grateful to all our partners for the technical & financial support.   

Thursday, 10 December 2015

ToroDev Staff went for a retreat on 25th -28th of November 2015 in Kalangala District.

The staff retreat was held on 25th -28th of November 2015 in Kalangala District. Six staff of ToroDev went for the retreat and were able to have some time to reflect on the activities of ToroDev, to plan for 2016, find ways of solving the challenges that affect the organization and also staff got skills in financial management and team building from two experts Joy Mirembe and Babirye Brenda from AKAMAI GLOBAL.

ToroDev works with a team which consists of people in a variety of skilled positions needed to implement the project activities for the organization,for any Organization to thrive, economically and socially, it is vital to bring all staff along at every stage, building a healthy corporate culture by addressing the inevitable gaps that open up between the staff and the organizations’ vision.

ToroDev Staff
 Staff retreat offered staff an invaluable opportunity to pause, step back from their everyday duties of working in the Organizations and gain enough perspective to reflect on the organization in constructive ways. The retreat sharpened our focus to clarify the organization’ priorities and boosted the morale of the staff”. Amanya Sheila M&E Officer ToroDev.

 During the retreat staff were taken through team building to foster communication flow, trust, disclosure and inclusiveness. Some interactive activities were done to help people feel open, creative and supportive.
“From the training during the retreat I got to know that team building enables open communication among employees and management. This can improve office relationships and in turn, the quality of work done. Team building motivates employees where by team leadership and team building go hand in hand. The more comfortable your employees are to express their ideas and opinions, the more confident they will become. This will motivate staff to take on new challenges”.  Florence Baguma M&E officer ToroDev

Florence added; taking a team outside of an office setting and exposing them to new experiences will force them to think outside of their normal routine. Working together with other team members can ignite creativity and fresh ideas, which are great qualities to bring back to the office.
In any organization a crisis can happen at any time. Team building activities that require working together to solve problems can improve the ability to think rationally and strategically. Teams that are able to determine when a problem arises and know what they can do about it, can then effectively take charge when a real crisis occurs”. Kugoza David Documentation and communication Officer ToroDev
“From the training we had during the staff retreat I go to understand that team building increases the trust factor with your employees. Often in corporate settings there is a disconnect between the leadership team and employees because the employees sees a big gap between the two. Team building exercises give leadership the opportunity to be seen as a colleague rather than a boss, which  can do wonders for employee morale”. Yampa Grace the accountant ToroDev

ToroDev staff attending the training during the Retreat in Kalangala

The three days retreat was a successful one and a lot of skills in financial management and team building were gained by the staff.  

Special thanks to our donors, NED, SIDA, CIPESA, WOUGNET, ICT4DEM 

Monday, 30 November 2015

ToroDev Celebrates 10 years of existence and hosted all the participants of the conference for dinner at Mountains of the moon Hotel

On 19th November, 2015 ToroDev hosted all the participants of the conference for a dinner to mark our 10 years of existence. The dinner was hosted at Mountains of the Moon Hotel, from 5pm- 11pm. All participants of the conference attended, political leaders, Civil servants, Academicians and well-wishers, the dinner was attended by over 100 people. The guest of honor was Hon Adolf Mwesige Apuuli, Member of Parliament Bunyangabu County & Minister of Local Government.

The Organization has, particularly for the last 5 years, promoted and improved information and knowledge sharing for citizens’ engagement with their leaders to demand public accountability for improved service delivery and poverty reduction. ToroDev has empowered local citizens in both offline and online advocacy to improve essential service delivery through democratic engagement with duty bearers, which directly affects their economic livelihoods. Radio journalists also have been trained in online advocacy and accountability broadcasting”. Said, Counsel Businge Victor ToroDev Board Secretary.
Counsel Victor added, ToroDev has supported the initiation of over 16 rural advocacy forums and facilitated over 20 accountability meetings between citizens and leaders in the region, many of which were held in 2015. ToroDev has deployed the “convergence approach, using ICTs to promote information access, use and democratic engagements for improved essential service delivery.

The Executive Director ToroDev Mr. Baguma Johnstone K. giving the welcoming remarks as guests listen attentively
I appreciate the good work ToroDev has done to improve Service delivery in Kabarole District, ToroDev has given us enough airtime on radio where district local government official have been hosted to give accountability and to address issues of poor service delivery, as LC V chairperson of Kabarole District, I have been hosted so many times to give accountability, and this airtime is free and as a district we could not afford to pay for airtime but ToroDev bridged the gap, that is why accountability has been given and we are seeing improved service delivery”. Said Hon Richard Rwabuhinga during dinner at Mountains of the moon hotel, Kabarole District.

Hon. Richard Rwabuhinga the district chairperson Kabarole giving his speech during the dinner
Hon Richard added, ToroDev has empowered local citizens with skills in ICTs, advocacy and networking, I can testify that one day I received a petition from  Mugusu forum and they challenged me when they called me and asked to meet me, I was able to meet them and they presented their petition  asking for water extension to  Magunga village, I was  challenged because the group was organized, they spoke to me calmly and I was able to lobby for the money to see that the gravity flow scheme is put in place,  this proves the kind of work ToroDev is doing with the advocacy forum.

“ToroDev is one of the organizations I respect and value so much, it has done great work to improve service delivery in the Rwenzori Region, it has provided employments to young people who can change the world, they have gone on ground to educate others on how to demand accountability in a peaceful way, how to hold us leaders accountable  without fear or favor, the local citizens are now sensitized, empowered , they know what they want from their leaders due to massive sensitization by ToroDev.  Thank you so much for the great work”. Said Hon Alex Ruhunda the MP Fort-Portal Municipality during the Dinner at Mountains of the Moon Hotel

Hon. Alex Ruhunda the Fort Portal Member of Parliament speaking during the ToroDev dinner
I treasure NGOs that have missions and visions, some NGOS are formed to attack the government but I respect ToroDev very much, it has been very useful and supporting our people and the government by providing leaders with platforms to give accountability for improved service delivery, ToroDev thank you so much for choosing Rwenzori Region to come and bridge a gap where the government could not reach especially in paying for airtime on  radio for the leaders to address people and give accountability , thank you for  giving social and  economic  skills  to the local citizens, supporting  the local citizens  in monitoring services and many other activities, thank you for the good work”. Said the guest of Honor, Hon Adolf Mwesige Minister for Local Government

Hon. Adolf Mwesige the State minister for Local Government giving his speech during the ToroDev dinner
Hon Adolf added NGOS have filled a big gap where the government could not reach, the NGO reach, NGOs have lobbied for improved services delivery, we have seen schools, hospitals, latrines, water sources  put in place by NGOS, as a minister I pledge to work with ToroDev  and in case you need me please let’s keep the good partnerships.

The dinner ended at 11pm and ToroDev was able to serve everyone with a cake.

The guest of honor is joined by other guests, BODs ToroDev, & staff in cutting the cake
For ToroDev to make 10 years in Service, it  has been possible with donor support from the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), CIPESA & SIDA, Development Research & Training (DRT), Development Initiatives, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Indigo Trust-UK, partner local FM radio stations and citizens’ community forums.
 We thank every body for the support in these 10 years of service.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

ToroDev holds the 2nd Annual Regional Reflection Conference for ToroDev Stakeholders

ToroDev held the 2nd Annual Regional Reflection Conference on Public Accountability for Improved Service Delivery in the Rwenzori Sub-Region, Western Uganda under the theme: The Current Electioneering Process: “What are the Key Concerns of Public Service Delivery to Influence Elections Outcomes in the Region?. The 2 days residential regional reflection conference was held on 19th- 20h November 2015 at St Joseph Inn- Virika, Fort Portal.

The 2 days Annual Regional Reflection Conference 2015 served as an event for ToroDev and all stakeholders to reflect on the plans, activities, and successes of 2015. It also availed a chance to evaluate the execution of the recommendations made in the 1st Annual Regional Reflection Conference of 2014”. Said, Johnstone Baguma, the Executive Director ToroDev during the conference.

Mr. Baguma Johnstone Kumaraki giving the over all objectives of the conference at St. Joseph's Inn Virika in Fort Portal
Johnstone added, the organization has, particularly for the last 5 years, promoted and improved information and knowledge sharing for citizens’ engagement with their leaders to demand public accountability for improved service delivery and poverty reduction. This has been possible with donor support from the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), CIPESA & SIDA, Development Research & Training (DRT), Development Initiatives, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Indigo Trust-UK, partner local FM radio stations and citizens’ community forums. ToroDev has deployed the “convergence approach, using ICTs to promote information access use and democratic engagements for improved essential service delivery

ToroDev also through this conference tackled other key issues that affect the well being of the Organization. They included  and not limited to; social and economic sustainability of already initiated 16 citizens’ advocacy groups in the region, capacity building needs in management of the advocacy forums and advocacy, reporting and active monitoring of service delivery at the grass root level.

Particular attention was also on stakeholders’ reflection to the forthcoming general elections 2016 in Uganda, especially the type of leadership the sub-region desires to have after elections. Specific issues to task the new leadership to address was identified during the reflection conference. These were the issues that the 16 Advocacy Forums and all other stakeholders will focus on advocating for in the next 5 years. In addition, partnerships and networking will be strengthened between ToroDev and partners like local government, central government, civil society, journalists and local citizens.

The conference presented a sound ground for feedback and knowledge sharing with an aim of improving our work. On the first day after the Conference, ToroDev hosted all the participants for a dinner to mark our 10 years of existence. The dinner was hosted at Mountains of the Moon Hotel, from 5pm- 11pm. All participants of the conference attended

The conference limited itself to reflecting on the contributions of ToroDev and partners to promote public accountability & democratic engagement for improved service delivery to reduce extreme poverty. Eighty two (82) participants attended the 2 days’ conference.16 females’ and 16 Youth leaders of the 16 Citizens’ Advocacy Forums from seven districts of the Rwenzori region were the primary participants. Eighteen (18) Media practitioners under their umbrella network, the Rwenzori Journalists’ Forum (RJF), 15 local radio stations from the 7 districts of the Rwenzori Region, Civil Society leaders and staffs also attended (KRC, RICNET, RIDE-AFRICA, AHURIO, KANCA, Wougnet, CIPESA, Academicians), 7 District Information Officers, Civil servants (CAOs) & district planners, leaders of District-NGO Forums, both political and technical leaders were represented.

Participants listening to a presentation during the conference

Objectives of the Annual Regional Conference 2015

a)      Reflect on the plans, activities, successes and challenges of 2015
b)      To reflect and give updates on the recommendations raised by different stakeholders from the 1st  Annual Regional Reflection Conference

c)      To provide a platform for primary stakeholders to share success stories, identify challenges and give possible recommendations for improved use of appropriate ICT tools to improve accountability and service delivery monitoring and advocacy

d)     To brainstorm on project sustainability; both social and economic sustainability

e)      To enhance partnerships and networking between ToroDev and partners like local and central government, civil society, journalists and local citizens

f)       Make plans for 2016, especially intense lobby & advocacy during the general election period.

“Uganda is in the middle of campaigns, elections are just on the door and politics are dominating all the social medias, Ugandans are debating, arguing, many are engaging each other in politics discussions, Am proud of young  people who have taken interest  in being part of politics,  the future will be brighter when young ones join” Said, Rev. Fr. Dr.  Pascal Kabura of Uganda Martyrs University Fort Portal campus while giving the key note address on the Theme of the conference on 19th/ October 2015

Fr. Dr. Pascal Kabura of Uganda Martyrs University Fort Portal Campus giving his Key Note address during the conference 
Rev. Dr. Pascal added; Uganda is here to stay, we need to engage ourselves and build what is happening in Uganda, we should not surrender to the fate, we can still do something to change the politics of Uganda, because there is a lot of panic, fear and mistrust in the political arena, and human beings of today can’t make good decisions in politic but we need to get involved in elections, vote and get involved in all the processes of elections.

We appreciate the good work our partner ToroDev is doing in this region, we partner with different organisations in East Africa, and ToroDev is one of them, the work of ToroDev is seen through Advocacy Forums, Radio Talk shows and online social Medias”. Said Ashna Kalemera of CIPESA during the conference.  

Ashnah  Kalemera of CIPESA giving Key Note address during the conference

On the first day of the conference different presentations were made on different topics, for example findings of the 5 years assessment of ToroDev was presented by Mrs Florence Baguma, M&E consultants, another presentation was made by Dr Muhumuza from Mountains of the Moon University & CAARD consultant. The presentation was on the proposed ToroDev E- Participation Model / System & proposal for future scale –up in Uganda and beyond. There was a panel discussion on this topic, more  panel discussions were on  mainstreaming gender issues in public accountability & democratic engagement for improved service delivery presented by Gorett Amuriat- Wougnet-Kampala

Goretti  Amuriat of WOUGNET Discussing Gender  Mainstreaming issues in Public Accountability
The main objective of the assessment was to investigate and assess the impact of ICTs for improved service delivery of Torodev’s intervention for the past 5 years 2011-2015 in the Rwenzori region”. Said Mrs Florence Baguma, M&E consultants.

Ms Florence Baguma presenting the ToroDev 5 years assessment report during the conference
Another presentation was on the Role of Citizens’ Advocacy Forums in Promoting Public Accountability & Service Delivery monitoring in the Rwenzori sub-region. “ToroDev is grateful to the 16 advocacy forums for the great work they are doing in improving service delivery through monitoring government services, demanding accountability from their local and political leaders, defending local citizens rights among other activities.” Said Sheila Amanya the M&E ToroDev.

As a result of the work of advocacy forums we have seen water put in place for example in Mugusu & Katebwa sub counties in Kabarole district,  two class room blocks have been put in place in Bufunjo Seed school in Kyenjojo district, Roads improved in Kichwamba, Rwebisengo & Ntoroko District Munjeru village in Kyenjojo District, etc all have  been worked on, we have improved staff in health centers in Bufunjo, improved accountability and improved participation of women in budgetary process and meetings”. Said Tumwesigye Andrew the leader of Bufunjo Forum in Kyenjojo District, during the panel discussion on the performance of advocacy forums in the Region.

Mr. Tumwesigye Andrew, Ms Ahaisibwe Jane, Mr. Bamanyisa Patrick advocacy leaders & Shiela Amanya M & E officer in a panel discussion during the conference

As advocacy forums we face challenges like a challenge of threats from security agents and local leaders, lack of enough funds to monitor all the areas, lack of ICTs such as computers, recorders, cameras etc”. Said Jane Ahaisibwe the leader of the Butiti forum during the panel discussion on the challenges of the advocacy forums

Different recommendations were suggested one of them included to give the advocacy forums more skills in advocacy, networking and provide them with more skills in sustainability of the advocacy forums, also woman should be encouraged to participate in public meetings and radio talk shows.

This conference was made possible with donor support from the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), CIPESA & SIDA, Development Research & Training (DRT), Development Initiatives, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Indigo Trust-UK partner, local FM radio stations and citizens’ community forums.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Citizens Efforts contributing to improved service delivery

Bufunjo people’s forum, an advocacy group situated in Bufunjo Sub County, Kyenjojo district has mobilized community members mostly from the parishes of Nyamanga & Kisangi to construct Kahumbo Bridge connecting the two parishes. After making requests from the district leadership of Kyenjojo in vain the Forum leaders together with community members thought of involving one of the aspirants for the Mwenge north Member of Parliament in Kyenjojo district whom they contacted and accepted to support them with 12 culverts to construct the bridge. Their intervention started in August 2015 and in September 2015 they had got the culverts and put on the Kahumbo Bridge.

Kahumbo Bridge in Bufunjo sub county, Kyenjojo district which was constructed by community members and now due to heavy rains in the area they can not cross to other villages

’We put the culverts on the bridge with the help of community members and people had started crossing to other parishes freely but due to the rains being much in the area, it has again affected peoples movements but once rain reduces or during dry season people will move freely without interference’’, said Tumwesigye Andrew the leader of the advocacy forum.

’ We thank the aspirant Mr. Akugizibwe Lawrence for the support in form of culverts, the people of Nyamanga & Kisangi parishes for the cooperation and ToroDev for the monthly facilitation and skills in monitoring service delivery, at least there is improvement where accessing other villages is not a big problem as it used to be’’, said Twineomujuni John, the Forum secretary.

We are grateful to our partners for the technical and financial support. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Advocacy Forums fight for the rights of the local citizens

It has been one of our objective to see that local citizens have their rights respected by family members and the community, as PRIFODE we received a complaint from Atuhaire Charles a citizen from Rutete sub county in Kabarole district complaining   that his family members had denied him from sharing of sharing the properties his late father left behind.

Am among the five children born to Kateba Zadoki of Rusenyi village, Rurama parish in Rutete sub county Kabarole district. I have struggled with my brothers and sisters for seven years since our father died my siblings denied me to access any of my late father’s properties like land, businesses and home, I have lived in poverty, failed to get education, I went to courts of laws to seek justice but still I did not get any justice, but I never kept silent I contacted PRIFODE for help and am happy they helped”. Said Atuhaire

Members of the family of late Kateba Zadoki in Rurama, Rutete sub county

Charles added Am very happy I finally got help from PRIFODE in October 2015, the members of the forum solved the issues and now I own land and I can’t stop thanking the advocacy forum and ToroDev, what Court had failed to solve it has been solved by the forum am at peace, happy and thankful to the forum, keep the good work.

Family members, PRIFODE members, and some community members in a meeting at late Zadoki's residence in Ruteete
In November 2013 after receiving the complaint we wrote a letter to the family of the complaints, clan members and the local leaders but no one acted upon the matter. Then the leader of the forum visited them in Rutete and convened a meeting with the help of the area local council one (LC 1) in order to hear from the two sides”. Said Mukwono the leader of PRIFODE

Furthermore  Mukwono added in August 2014 a team from Peoples rights and forum for development travelled to Rutete, counseled the two sides and finally agreed as a family to allow Atuhaire share from his late father’s property other than continuing going to the courts of laws.
In October 2015 the forum members travelled back to Rutete where an official agreement was signed between the family members allocating a piece of land to Atuhaire Charles in the presence of clan leaders, community members, area local councils and forum members from Mugusu sub county in Kabarole district.” Said Tibenda Stephen the secretary of the Forum

PRIFODE member, local leader and the family of late Zadoki including Atuhaire standing in the land they shared with him
As people’s rights and forum for development, we thank ToroDev for empowering us as advocacy forums in Ruwenzori region with knowledge ,skills, radio programs, monthly facilitation, etc all the above have helped us work with the community by solving their problems hence living in harmony with each other’’ said Mr. Mukwano Ssenyonjo, the forum leader from Mugusu.

We are grateful to our partners for the technical and financial support.

Friday, 30 October 2015

ToroDev Staff attend capacity Building trainings and conference

ToroDev Executive Director Mr. Jonhstone Baguma and the Communication and Documentation officer Mr. Kugonza David attended a four (4) days capacity building training   organized by CIPESA, the training was held in Kmpala from 12th, October- 16th, October 2015. More still ToroDev M&E consultant attended a district Budget Conference which was about spending priorities for FY 2016/2017 including those that will be forwarded for central government consideration the conference was held on 14th October, 2015.  The training was attended by M&E officer   ToroDev, the two days training was organized by The Human Rights Centre Uganda on the use of the Referral pathway and guidelines in addressing Human Rights Violation and Abuses.

Two (2) ToroDev staff gained skills in issues of Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) in programing and documentation, they also got to understand principles of Participation, Accountability, Empowerment, Rule of law, Non- discrimination and the Characteristics such as Inalienable, Inherent, indivisible & Universality while applying the above approach. Different topics were handled which will help the team to improve especially in reporting and documenting their organization work. “The knowledge gained from the training will help ToroDev staff to improve in reporting, documentation, data base management, it will help in fundraising (proposal writing), and it will also be shared with, other staff of ToroDev, the advocacy forums and other local NGOs ToroDev’ partners with”. Said Kugonza David the Communication and documentation Officer, ToroDev. 

ToroDev staff and other partner organisations in a training session

Sixty (60) people attended the conference and ToroDev M&E consultant represented ToroDev, the conference was held on 14th October 2015.“There has been improved collaboration between local governments and local NGOs which has improved the level of information and knowledge sharing, planning and budgeting, which results to proper resource allocation, accountability and improved service delivery. Said Florence Githinji M&E consultant ToroDev.   
The two days training was carried on 15th-16th, October 2015. Twenty six (26) participants representing local NGOs in Kabarole district.(RIDAFRICA, ToroDev, KRC, KANCA, AHURIO, RFPJ etc) attended the two days training. “The skills, knowledge achieved and reading materials got from the training will be shared with the 16 advocacy forums especially with the human rights defenders; this will help them to defend people’ right in a peaceful way and use the referral pathway and guidelines in addressing human rights violation and abuses”. Said Amanya Sheila M&E officer ToroDev.

We are grateful to our development partners for the financial and technical support.

Monday, 26 October 2015

‘’Our leaders want to be popular not by providing services’’

Our leaders  today want to be popular not by providing services to citizens but by offering things that do not solve peoples issues/needs in communities, said Mrs Linda Irine Mugisa  the woman aspirant for the Kabarole District LCV seat during the Kabarole district NRM candidates 2015-2021 Barometer. The event was organized by Kabarole Research and Resource Centre, ToroDev & Ride Africa at Kabarole district public library grounds on 20th October 2015. Linda promised to promote the voice of the marginalized groups in the district, support youth & women empowerment & emphasized on promoting youth talents as a way of fighting youth unemployment.

Mrs. Linda Irine Mugisa speaking  during the Debate

ToroDev executive director Mr. Baguma Johnstone Kumaraki while speaking on behalf of organizers told the voters that had gathered for the political debate that civil society organizations aim at getting good leadership for all. ‘’We organize such platforms for people to hear from the manifestos of all the aspiring candidates and then make an informed decision for the next 5 years. It is not all about meeting with the leader but asking what one feels is important’’, said Mr. Baguma Jonstone. He urged the people not to be diverted by the small gifts (tokens) offered by candidates but focus on the candidates’ manifestos that articulates issues so that the next 5 years people do not regret.

The Executive director ToroDev Mr. Baguma Johnstone speaking during the political debate

The deputy director KRC Mr. Muzinduki said such a platform is organized because we are in elections period & as citizens we are tasked to elect from the many candidates and yet we cannot cast our votes right without hearing from the many aspiring candidates. Mr. Muzinduki said we should remember that we are in the multiparty politics; we need to accommodate all people from all parties and look at them as Ugandans.

Meanwhile the Fort portal municipality incubate Hon. Alex Ruhunda asked people to elect leaders that look thousands of kilometers far, ‘’as a leader you need to be looking far as you plan for your people, whatever I think of doing I think 100 years ahead’’ said Hon Alex Ruhunda. He urged the people of fort portal municipality to identify talents from their leaders other than just trying them in elective offices and after they have served one term they are voted out of those offices.

Hon. Alex Ruhunda speaking during the political debate in fort portal
The event had participation of voters, aspiring members of parliament from different constituents in the district and the aspiring LCV chairperson candidates for Kabarole district seat.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

ToroDev’s Communication & Documentation officer urges CSOs/NGOs operating in Kyegegwa district to strengthen collaboration

ToroDev’s communication & Documentation officer David Kugonza has urged civil society organizations operating in Kyegegwa district to boost their coordination & networking with the district so that peoples’ needs in communities can be tackled as a team. David Kugonza was highlighting on the objectives of the one day workshop on strengthening collaboration amongst CSOs & district local government of Kyegegwa on 29th September 2015 at Kyegegwa district council hall.
‘’ As CSOs/NGOs when we share information, share available opportunities, plans, budgets & account together, we shall be harmonizing our work by focusing  on areas which need  interventions than congesting our services in one particular place.

ToroDev's Communication & Documentation officer David Kugonza sharing the objectives of the meeting 
The one day workshop was attended by 40 people including women, youth & men; amongst them was the district planner, head of community based services, District community development officer representative, heads of district line departments and NGOs & CBOs operating in Kyegegwa district.

Members of District Local government & those from NGOs/CBOs attending the meeting
In his communication, the district planner Mr.Musinguzi Daniel thanked the NGOs fraternity for collaborating with the district especially at this time when the district is implementing its planning cycle ( DDP phase 11).
 Mr.Musinguzi Daniel highlighted the major challenges they face as a district in accessing & documenting information from CSOs like reports, strategic plans, and budgets. He encouraged NGOs to bring to the office of the district planner their strategic plans & budgets so that the district can know what they do and in what particular area which in the long run solves the problem of congesting services in a particular area.

 Mr. Daniel further encouraged NGOs to involve themselves in the district budget conferences that it is through such meetings that the district develop their budgets.

Kyegegwa District acting District Planner Mr. Musinguzi Daniel presenting his communication 
Meanwhile the district probation officer who represented the district community development officer Mr. Nyakabwa Augustine encouraged NGOs to improve on their reporting and asked them to at least report quarterly to the office of the community based services so that their activities can be capture in the district reports. He said when reports are submitted, as a district they can know how to help especially the CBOs and they will be getting feedback on how the NGOs fraternity has helped the district. Mr. Nyakabwa said we need to share information, work plans, budgets & increase our collaboration so as to avoid duplication of services.

The head of Community Based Services Mr. Nyakabwa Augustine presenting his report 
The one day workshop was organized by ToroDev in partnership with Kyegegwa district NGOs forum.

We are grateful to SIDA, NED, DRT, CIPESA, SPIDER & ICT4DEM for the technical & financial support.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Long distances contributing to children’s failure to complete Primary Level Education

Hapuyo sub county in Kyegegwa district has one government aided secondary school (Hapuyo seed school) and around 13 primary schools. The education standards have not been at a tune of what we may call improved service delivery the fact that there are challenges associated with achieving this. According to the Community development officer for Hapuyo sub county Ms Kasembo Jennifer, dropout rate is high in the sub county.
Ms Kasembo while speaking on the rural radio magazine segment on 16th September 2015 at her office in Hapuyo said, ‘’ when you take an example of Kyanyambale primary school in Hapuyo sub county, 50 girls & 52 boys registered for primary seven this year (2015) but only 13 girls and 19 boys have registered for primary living examinations that start October this year. You can see that the dropout rate especially for girls is very high’’, said Ms Kasembo Jennifer the community development officer for Hapuyo Sub County.

Walking Long distances by pupils about 30 kilometers per day has contributed to increased rate of school dropout, domestic violence which make children fail to attend school and also failing to concentrate while in class, negative attitude towards education by parents & children and failure by parents to play their role in providing for the needs of their children especially scholastic materials have all contributed to the education situation in Hapuyo sub county, said Ms Kasembo Jennifer.
Much as the district local government has tried to construct classrooms at some schools, Magoma primary school which has a population of around 600 pupils still lack classrooms having only 3 blocks which can not contain the congestion in classrooms and in Kyanyambali primary school which has a population of 802 pupils, there are only 13 teachers making a ratio of pupil to teacher at 62:1 which is against the national education minimum standards ratio of 45:1.

Meanwhile the Hapuyo sub county health assistant Mr. Bwambale Albert said, as a sub county we still have a challenge on teaching the community the importance of hand washing which stands at 26% in the subcounty and yet most diseases that affect people originate from our homes. Hapuyo Sub County which has a population of over thirty people (30.000) has one health centre (health centre 111) and patients walk long distances coming for health services. People get information especially on hand wash but they immediately forget, we need to engage our health team more if we are to achieve on hygiene & sanitation in homes, Said Mr. Bwambale Albert the health assistant of Hapuyo Sub County in Kyegegwa district.

As a community member, we have a problem of water where some water sources dry up during dry seasons & sometimes the water is not safe for human use, we request our leaders to extend the gravity flow scheme to our villages. Our children walk long distances to go to school and to our disappointment teachers absenteeism is high, sometimes they come late & do not concentrate in class to help our children learn,’’ said Ms Kasapuli Yusta a community member from Mbara village, Hapuyo sub county in Kyegegwa district.

The rural radio magazine segment was amplified on Jubilee radio on 20th September 2015, during the Listeners’ program that is aired live every Saturday 8:00pm-10:00pm on Jubilee radio a local radio station in Fort portal, Kabarole district

We are grateful to our partners for the financial & technical support in advocating for improved services to our people in communities.

Holding Accountability for improved service delivery

ToroDev  in partnership with Forum  for Katebwa Sub county NGO/ CBO advocacy, based in Katebwa Sub county, Kabarole  District held two (2) accountability meetings at parish level.
   The two meetings in Katebwa sub county were held in two parishes 22nd/ September 2015 in Busura Parish and on 24th/ September 2015 in Katebwa parish in partnership with forum for Katebwa Sub county NGO/ CBO advocacy. In Busura Parish 120 local citizens attended, leaders who attended included the chairman LC III Katebwa sub county, the District councilor Katebwa Sub county, the district women councilor, Katebwa Sub county, the health in charge of Kibate HC III,  the OC of Katebwa police station,etc

Many thanks to ToroDev for organizing the meeting, this is the third meeting am attending and I have been hosted on radio talk shows sponsored by ToroDev to give accountability and to share with people about development. I have been able to lobby for drugs for Kibate HC III, we have lobbied for the bridge and soon it will be put in place, we have lobbied for improved clean and safe water in Kibate parish and people have now clean water. Said Byakufa  Misitofa the LC III Katebwa sub county.

Misitofa added I do very much appreciate the work of Advocacy forum in improving services, at first I had refused to work with the forum because I was thinking it was going to fight against us political leaders but now am here to say that this forum has opened our eyes as leaders, we know what people want through the forum reports, we have been able to share and speak to people during the meetings organized by the forums, special thanks to Ezra the leader of the forum.
We are much interested in women and youth to attend the accountability meetings  because most times the two groups of people don’t get time to come and share their issues on radios, women don’t get the chance to meet their leaders.  The meetings are now organized at the parish level so that our women can find it much easier to attend and talk to their leaders in person, women and youth are now fully attending the meetings since they are held in their village next to their homes, this was recommended during the last year’s annual reflection conference that ToroDev organized in October 2014“. Said Amanya Sheila M&E Officer ToroDev

Amanya Sheila M&E Officer ToroDev sharing the objectives of why ToroDev organizes such meetings in Kibaate parish ,Katebwa Sub county in Kabarole District on 22nd/9/2015. 

We have fought against rape, violence in homes, these two crimes have been addressed and we no longer receive cases of such crimes as police we worked hand in hand with local leaders to see the crimes are reduced and we are now fighting against high school drop outs and early marriages by arresting the parents who don’t take their children to school”. Said Corporal   Batalingaya Frank the OC of Katebwa Sub County, Kabarole District.

Corporal  Batalingaya Frank the OC of Katebwa Sub County, Kabarole District giving accountability to the people of Kibaate Parish on 22nd/9/2015 during the accountability meeting

In Katebwa the action point were following up the sanitation of Kibaate HC III, to see that Kibaate HC III is providing the services of HC III not  of HC II,  the high dropouts, early marriages,  following  up the  requisitions  of the drugs by the in charge of Kibate HC III and follow up  Songya Bridge.

We are grateful to our development partners for the financial & technical support.