Thursday, 29 June 2017

Three (3) rural radio debates /magazines held in Mugusu, Migongwe & Bubukwanga sub counties in Kabarole, Kyegegwa and Bundibugyo districts.


ToroDev appreciates NED and SIDA for the financial support to continue holding rural radio debates /magazines to capture the voices of women and youth from hard to reach areas and amplify the voices live on radio for duty bearers to pay attention.

Three (3) rural radio magazines/debates were successfully held in 3 sub counties of 3 districts. ToroDev facilitated one journalist to go and record these voices. The  3  debates were  held on  26th May 2017 in Mugusu sub county Kabarole district, 20th /06/2017 in Migongwe parish Kakabara sub county Kyegegwa and 9th / 6/2017 Bugukwanga  sub county, Bundibugyo District
The issues discussed were recorded and broadcast live on KRC radio during the ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ program on Wednesday 8:00-10:00pm for the duty bearer’s intervention.

The main objective of holding these debates is give a chance to women and youths from remotest villages to participate in the democratic discussions and also contribute in following up newly elected duty bearers to improve essential service delivery in their sub counties. Women are given the first priority due to the challenges they face while participating in open democratic discussions.

A total number of 60 women and 40 men both youth and adult attended the 3 debates, each debate could be attended by community members between 25-35 people. ToroDev worked hand in hand with advocacy forums leaders with interest in these villages to mobilize women and youth to attend the debates, follow up issues raised during the rural debates and present them to leaders during community meetings/ Barazas. One member from Rwenzori Journalists forum was facilitated to reach to villages to record the concerns of women and youth, amplify them live on radio talk shows and invite concerned leaders live on radio talk shows to respond on issues raised.
 
Participants in one of the Rural radio debate/magazine at Bubukwanga Sub County in Bundibugyo district
For the last five months we have not had water because of the pipes which are small and can’t fully supply water to every part of Mugusu and our shallow well cannot supply water to all villages in Mugusu Sub County. I this case I request water department at Sub County and district level to handle”. Said Edward Itoote from Kiboha village Sub County. .  

“Our water is on and off in Bukuku especially in Ibonde village and this is affecting our people, we request our sub county leaders to lobby for more bore holes and shallow wells in our area so that we can end the problem of inadequate water services in our area” Said Ivan from Ibonde village Mugusu sub county Kabarole district.

“We don’t have water in Kiko town council we request Kabarole district water department to also consider us in this financial year”. Said Irumba Assonance a caller from Kiko town council.

 “In Kakabara,HCIII  the  facility is not well facilitated  with enough infrastructure, beds and staff quarters  this has been causing a lot of congestion in wards and at the health facility, we request the duty bearers to make a change this financial year”. Said Mugume James from Migogwe parish Kakabara Sub County.
“The state of our health centers is still alarming in Kabarara. For example the  government built one health centre II in Migongwe trading center its now 5 years  without opening it and it has become a house for thieves,  leaders are aware but doing nothing, we want  to see this building turned into a health facility”. Said Twikirize”,Sarah from Migogwe parish Kakabara sub county Kyegegwa district.
 
Women & Youth attending a rural radio debate/magazine in Kakabara, Kyegegwa district
“Our leaders are not playing their  monitoring role, I request them to start moving on the ground  to monitor what goes on in the health centers may be this can motivate the health workers in one way or the other”. Said Mboijana Patrick from Migongwe parish Kakabara sub county Kyegegwa district.

Parents have failed to play their roles well they send students at school without scholastic materials such as pencils, books, uniform, packed lunch, etc and they expect good results from them which difficult. We request the government to work hand in hand with district education department SMCs and PTA members to increase on school inspection so that we can raise education standards in our district”. Said Kabasinguzi Grace from Bubukwanga sub county Bundibugyo district.
               
“Our children go to school late due to the long distance to access these  schools, they walk for hours to reach to these UPE schools which is a big problem here and the main challenge in most schools here is that teachers are very reluctant when it comes to teaching and coming early to school. In this case I request the inspector of schools to always do supervision especially in poor performing schools”.  Said Kabakunje Ann from Bundibugyo.

 We are grateful to SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all our partners for the financial and technical support. 

ToroDev in partnership with Bufunjo People ‘forum carried out field exercise to assess the performance of councillors & SMC members trained by ToroDev

Bufunjo people’ forum  interacted with  Bufunjo sub county  councilors who attended the training in March 2017 to assess how they are executing their roles since they were trained by ToroDev. The team also sampled four government aided primary schools in greater Bufunjo sub county Kyenjojo district to interact with head teachers mainly to assess the performance of PTA and SMCs members’ after they were trained by ToroDev in December 2016. The four schools included; Kitega, Kitabona, Mbale and Kagoma primary schools and the activity was conducted from 02nd - 05th  June 2017.  

The main focus of this field exercise was to assess  the performance of  Councillors of Bufunjo sub county Kyenjojo district  &  school  management committees in 4 schools including head teachers who attended the training of SMC and assess how they are executing their roles and responsibilities since the training and compare the situation now and how it was before the training”. Said Tumwesigye Andrew leader of Bufunjo people forum.


"The councilors are now actively participating in council sessions, budgeting and planning meetings at both district and sub county levels & active in their respective sectoral committees because they know their roles well since they were trained by ToroDev.”.  Said Hon  Businge  M Baguma Bufunjo subcounty during her interaction with the team 

"We are more knowledgeable of our roles now and we are not finding problems when it comes to planning for our people, we know how to conduct planning and  budgeting  meeting and how to present our issues/concerns during council meetings, were not like how we used to be before the training". Said  Agaba Emmauel Councillor Bufunjo during his interaction with the team 


Members are active in monitoring school projects, the work plans of teachers, the attendance of both teachers and pupils; this is observed through visitor’s book, each week we receive 1-2 member of both PTA&  SMC and this has surprised us because before the training in a term we could receive only a chairperson of SMC or PTA  committee but after the training the case is different because members are knowledgeable of their roles”. Said the head teacher of Kitega Primary School.

Kitega P.S head teacher added that the understanding of both PTA and School management committee member has greatly changed in the way that there is proper coordination and connection between the school and both members of PTA & SMC mainly because they now understand their roles and responsibilities much better.  Since the training I have not had any misunderstanding with committees, we are addressing challenges as a team and I do very much appreciate their efforts when it came to developing the school farm. 
Bufunjo People's forum & ToroDev staff members during SMC/PTA performance assessment exercise at Kitega P/S in Kyenjojo district
Both committees at school are functioning; we built a stronger team after the training to work things out with combined efforts.  I am happy that members of PTA and SMC are now coming up with excellent ideas to see that pupils start using school land to plant maize which will be used to make porridge for the pupils and to solve the issue of lack of lunch. I appreciate that the training was not a waste of time and money, it was to impact us and cause a change.” Said Tibaleka Beatrice deputy Head teacher Kagoma P.s during the follow up engagement with Members of Bufunjo People’ forum on 6th/ 6/2017.
Beatrice added  SMC executive of  Kagoma P.S is very  active in monitoring school projects which used not to be the case before the training , for example since  the beginning of first term  on 5th /2/-2017, they have visited the school 6 times compared to once or twice before the training.
Members have time for the  learners when they come to monitor the school, they take time and interact with learners, check their books, and  as a head teacher it really encourages me when learners openly share their challenges with the members which allows us to address these challenges as a team. Am happy the training opened the eyes of the SMC and PTA members, they now have a good working relationship with the school and we believe this year our candidates will perform  much better because of the way we are addressing key challenges together”. Head master Kagoma Primary school.
I acknowledge that PTA and School management committees of Kagoma, Kitega primary school and Kitabona primary schools, are active, this was observed through checking in their visitors books, attendance in the meetings and minutes record books for the current meetings held  comparing with previous books where members signed before the training. The number of members who visit these schools in a month is overwhelming compared to once or twice a term before the training”. Said  Tumwesigye Andrew chairperson  Bufunjo People forums during the field work exercise.
The coordinator Bufunjo People's forum Mr. Tumwesigye Andrew interacting with the Headteacher Kitabona P/S during the assessment/monitoring exercise
Andrew added I further discovered that there is team work among PTA and SMCs which will help in school performance, planning and budgeting of schools and this will raise the standards in schools and improve them.
However in Mbale primary school members are still very reluctant in executing their monitoring role apart from the chairperson. But as a head teacher I communicate with them on phone inquiring if they still want to serve as PTA & SMC members or soon we shall replace them.
We are grateful to SIDA, NED, DRT, CIPESA, SPIDER, and ICT4DEM for their financial and technical support

                                                                                         



ToroDev in partnership with Nderema grand Association carries out field exercise to assess the Health Unit Management Committee members that were trained by ToroDev in April 2017.

                     
With support from ToroDev in partnership with SIDA, advocacy forums have been facilitated to go on ground and monitor services in health, education and economic development sectors. In the month of April 2017 ToroDev trained 89 HUMC members from 15 health centres in their roles and responsibilities in the district of Kyegegwa. The HUMC members were linked to the members of advocacy forums operating in the same district to network and work together to advocate for better services.

After the training of HUMC members action points were set including HUMC to improve their planning, budgeting and monitoring roles, to hold and attend quarterly meetings, to bridge the gap between the community and the health facility, to work with the In-charges to develop work plans and monitor day to day operations of the facility among others. To follow up these action points Nderema grand association was facilitated in the month of June 2017 to move on ground and interact with In-charges of sampled HCs who were part of the training.
Members of Nderema Grand Association interacting with a Health official during the assessment exercise 
“The key objective of this field exercise was to interact with in charges of different HCs to assess if there is any change since the members of HUMCs were trained in April and follow up the action points members suggested to do after the training.Through this 7 HUMC members were  reached including  Hapuyo H/CIII, Kakabara H/CIII, Kigambo H/CIII, Kazinga H/CIII, Karwenyi H/CIII, Kasule H/CIII  Wekomiire H/CIII   beginning from 29/5/2017, 30th/05/2017 31st/05/2017, 16/6/2017 and 14/6/2017” Said . Nduhura Phenehans Coordinator Nderema Grand Association.

“As an in-charge I am happy that since the training of HUMC members things are done better especially the planning and monitoring roles.  HCMC members were trained in how to execute their roles and responsibilities in April and since then members have been coming frequently to monitor the health facility and supervise the drugs delivery, they come over to interact with the patients and staff and monitor different projects going on. This used not to be a case before the training, where members never had any interest in coming to do their supervisory role; I give the credit to the training.” Said the In-charge Kakabara H/CIII during the meeting with. Nduhura Phenehans the coordinator of Nderema forum in Kyegegwa district.
The coordinator Nderema Grand Association Mr. Nduhura receiving feedback from the In-charge of Wekomire HC III during their field exercise

There is an improvement in the way the quarterly meetings are conducted now and before HUMC members were trained. The last meeting we conducted before the training in December 2016 the In-charge was the one chairing the meeting but since the orientation the meeting held in May 2017 was chaired by the chairperson and it was participatory and not controlled by one person like how the case used to be before the training.” Said HUMC member of Kazinga H/CIII,

We are happy that we now use ICT tools and we access information online, information on budget release, Health policy etc HUMC members  are now doing their monitoring role very well we receive members 3-4 times a month compared to 1 time before the training and   participation in the quarterly meetings is excellent”. Said   the In charge of Kazinga H/C III.

 “Since the training took place HUMC members have got better ideas in lobbying and advocating for better services from different stakeholders and Am proud that members have been advocating for community support of the HC through making announcements in churches and through VHTs this used not to be the case before the orientation”. Said the In charge Wekomiire HCIII

The In charge of Wekomiire HCIII added, members are now very organized, minutes of the previous meetings are well typed and shared before the next meeting, there is a sense of seriousness because members have understood their roles in planning during meetings. Am sure our next meeting scheduled for 15th/June/2017 about 90% of members will attend compared to other meetings held before the training where 35% would attend.
A member of HUMC filling the feedback guide questionnaire at Kakabara HC 111 to assess impact of ToroDev's HUMC training in Kyegegwa district
The  last meeting was held on 20/5/2017 and the attendance was 95 % compared to other meetings before the training where the attendance was about 45%, we now see members are willing to serve and we credit all these changes to the training because from the training, they know their roles and responsibilities better than before”. Said the In-Charge Kasule H/CIII 

“I have seen a change already since  the training took place in Kyegegwa district,  for example now HUMC members are actively coming on ground to  monitor  health facilities   2-3 times in a month compared to one or none before the training to me this is a change already, more still  when a  quarterly  meeting was  held in April, 85% attended compared to 40% before the training, the training is yielding positive results and more are yet to happen”. Said Sakaya Catherine the In-Charge Karwenyi HCIII, during the meeting with. Nduhura Phenehans the coordinator of Nderema forum Kyegegwa district.

As HUMC members we  realized that some staff are not active and have weaknesses of coming to work late, they are lazy and we decided to report this to the health official, further  investigations were done and these Staff  are to be transferred to other HCs and  be replaced with new ones.” Said the In-charge of Kakabara HCIII.

However the following challenges are still hindering the HUMC members from executing their roles well; limited facilitation as a refund for the HUMC members since they come from far and limited powers to make decisions by HUMC members especially in Kakabara HCIII.
Nderema grand association suggested that the government should revise the facilitation of the HUMC members as they also continue monitoring health centers and do their monitoring & supervisory roles effectively in day to day running of health centers and overall health service delivery system in Kyegegwa district.

As ToroDev we are grateful to SIDA, NED, DRT, CIPESA, SPIDER, and ICT4DEM for their financial and technical support





Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The creation of new administrative units has had less impact in regard to the objectives of decentralization

Decentralization policy was introduced in the Uganda some years back with a major aim of improving service delivery, empowering people and creating modernization in communities. It was focused on improving development planning, improving people’s welfare, reducing poverty and delivering improved services to citizens but the current rate and effectiveness of the administrative units being created is debated upon because there are no signs of community development rather it is individual development, for those who get change to work at different levels in these administrative structures. These and more were words from Patrick Baguma the Fort Portal municipality FDC coordinator while appearing on Hit Fm alongside Johnstone Baguma ED ToroDev and Elizabeth Kijumba.

Patrick further said that maintaining the created units is expensive especially on administrative costs which means that there will be insufficient resource allocation to key sectors of development which results into poor quality service delivery in the country. He urged government to reduce on the way it is allowing the creation of new administrative units and instead allocate the money to start up capital for the unemployed and organized groups of citizens so that their incomes can raise and in the long run they pay taxes which can be used to improve the quality of services delivery in the country.

While discussing on the topic: Creation of new administrative units in the country, to what extent have they improved service delivery? During ToroDev supported Orukurato program that is aired live every Saturday 8-10pm, Johnstone Baguma from civil society said the formation of new administrative units has created political patronage. He further said, the increased political patronage in the country has triggered raise in the creation of administrative units which is not beneficial to the majority but to few individuals, he urged decision makers to allocate, equip & facilitate avenues aimed at improving key sectors like health, education, etc which are not functioning well in the country. 
‘’The government should work to improve key poor performing sectors like health and education to increase their budget allocations, drug supply in health centers, staffing of teachers and health workers to increase and improve service delivery in the country’’, said Elizabeth Kijumba a nurse working under ministry of health.

It was summed up by panelists that the creation of new administrative units in the country has not benefited citizens in communities as it was earlier planned hence need to first develop sectors which are key to the development of the country before additional administrative units because they have proved to be less effective to the people.

The two hours live discussion was joined by listeners from all parts of Rwenzori region through call -ins and Sms about 40 people called in however they were limited by time to give in their opinions on the topic of discussion; ‘’Much as we appreciate the creation of administrative units, we realize that some native people have not benefited and those in administrative offices are not committed to serve the people to improve service delivery’’, said Doreen Kusasira from Kasenda in Kabarole district, ‘’Creation of new administrative units are meant to improve serve delivery such as schools, health units, water, roads, etc but we are yet to realize this’’, said Mr. Amanyire a caller from Kasunganyanja in Kyenjojo district, “The government is creating more and more districts and yet some communities are not at their best in terms of drugs  in health centre’s, school lack desks and textbooks, congestion & no enough teachers, etc why can’t government first improve service delivery in already created districts?, asked Mr. Mumbere a caller from Kasese district, ‘’ the people occupying offices in these administrative units need to change their attitude to serve the citizens other than satisfying their own self interests’’, said Joshua Mugema a caller from Kyegegwa district.

We take this opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support that make it possible to run these programs.


Friday, 16 June 2017

Kabarole District Chairperson gave accountability for 2016/16 & plans for 2017/18 financial year.

On 10th June 2017, the district chairperson Kabarole Hon. Rwabuhinga Richard was hosted live in the studios of Hits Fm in Fort Portal to give accountability for the 2016/2017 financial year ending June 30th 2017. The district chairperson shared with listeners what has been done in the fiscal year 2016/2017 and the plans for 2017/2018 financial year.

Hon. Rwabuhinga said, the district has done a lot especially in the health sector where Kabarole is on 10th position in the whole country according to the performance report from the ministry of health for 2016/17. ‘’ As a district we have partnered with other development partners to construct a maternity ward at Bukuuku Health Center IV with running water, electricity & an Incubator, constructed  a maternity ward at Nyabuswa HC III,  equipped 19 health centers with solar panels & computers to improve on record keeping in those health centers.
Kabarole District Chairperson Hon. Rwabuhinga Richard
On the education sector, the district chairperson said the district has constructed classrooms at Kasura & Nyabwina primary schools, constructed a staff house at Kiburara primary school, equipped science laboratories at St. Joseph Karangura & Nyakasura secondary schools all aimed at improving on performance of science subjects among the learners.

‘’ We have constructed Kicwamba-Kiburara, Kasusu-Kabahango, Buhesi-Mitandi-Kinyankende roads and constructed Kicuucu-Karambi-Nyabihuka bridge & Kanyegaramire-Mujunju-Nyamugoro bridge to improve on the transportation of people and goods in these areas’’, said Hon. Rwabuhinga Richard. He further said piped water has been connected to places like Kahangi, Nyabusenyi in Busoro Sub County and Buhesi gravity water scheme extended to other villages also Karangura gravity scheme extended to areas of Mugusu, Mweri among others so that our people can access safe and clean water to prevent water borne diseases.

While appearing on ToroDev supported weekly program, ‘Orukurato’ that is aired live every Saturday 8-10pm on Hits Fm, the district chairperson said his council has committed to improve  on service delivery projects for the financial year 2017/2018 by; improving on communication and information dissemination where an ICT specialist/officer will be recruited, construction of Kabegira-Kirere, Butebe-Mugusu, Buhesi-Kataba & Buhesi-Kinyankende roads, extending safe and clean water from Karangura gravity scheme to other villages in Karangura, Kasenda and Kicwamba areas, building Mayombo memorial SEED school in Kijura town council, Construction of Katugunda vocational school in Katebwa sub county and construction of Bishop Balya Technical school in Bunyonyi, Hakibale sub county all aimed at improving education standards in the district.

Hon. Rwabuhinga acknowledged that much as plans to implement the proposed projects are in place, the district is debilitated to build capacity of it’s worker’s in many areas and thanked CSO’s that have helped government fill the gap, filling vacant positions existing in different sectors especially health department, the district has few government aided teachers which has contributed to poor performance in schools and also late release of funds by government which most often affects planning as a district resulting into shoddy work because work is implemented within a limited time frame because funds need to be accounted for within a short period.

We take a great opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners we work with for the financial and technical support to run these programs that keep our people informed.





Thursday, 15 June 2017

ToroDev held orientation training of Health Unit Management Committees in Kabarole district.

On 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th & 14th June 2017 ToroDev held orientation training of health centre management committees from Bukuku HC IV, Kicwamba HC III, Nyantabooma HC III, Nyabuswa HC III, Karambi HC III, Mugusu HC III, Mucwa HC III, Kasusu HC III, Kataraka HC IV, Kaswa HC III, Kidubuli HC III, Kagote HC III, Katoojo HC III, others are Kabende HC III, Kijura HC III, Kasenda HC III and Rutete HC III. The training focused on HC III’s from Burahya county and Fort portal municipality the fact that government is putting emphasis on strengthening HC III’s for effective health service delivery in the country.

The orientation training was facilitated by Dr. Tumwebaze Mathias & Dr. Tonny Mugisa from the DHO’s office.
Dr. Tonny Mugisa facilitating at Kataraka HC IV during HUMC orientation training

‘’We carried out the 5 days orientation training of HUMC members in Kabarole with an aim of transferring knowledge to HUMC members in matters of health service delivery policies, advocacy using ICT’s, drug requisition & monitoring effective use, providing knowledge and competencies on the roles and responsibilities of HUMC and explaining to the HUMC on the current health care delivery system and existing policies under health sector in the district, work plans & budget preparation processes, etc.’’, said David Kugonza who coordinated the training on the side of ToroDev.

David Kugonza ToroDev staff sharing with participants at Rutete HC III 
 Topics focused further on good governance in health, health unit management committees’ guidelines, roles & responsibilities of Health Unit Management Committees, composition & structure of HUMC, conducting meeting, management of medicines & supplies, etc.
One twenty seven (127) participants from 17 HC III’s of Burahya & Fort Portal municipality in Kabarole district attended the training that was conducted from 5 training zones and out of 127 participants, 54 were women while 73 were males.

Before the training ToroDev team carried out a baseline survey where there was interaction with district health officers, chairpersons health unit management committees and health unit In-charges to ascertain the challenges that were affecting HUMC members from performing their roles well where it was discovered that some members on the committee were serving for the very first time and did not know their roles and responsibilities. We aim at seeing improved lobbying and advocacy skills, HUMC members capable of engaging citizens in identifying their priority in health service delivery needs, capable to follow health policies that promote improvement of health service delivery, well streamlined HUMC roles and responsibilities, capacity to conduct meetings for improving performance and health service delivery, etc
 
A facilitator sharing with participants at Kijura HC III
 “We thank Torodev as a department of health in the district for the initiative, we are very much aware the importance of inducting HUMC members in their roles and responsibilities but we had failed to do it as a district due to budget constraints. We need a deliberate step of inducting HUMC members with in the first month of their term of office’’, said Dr. Tumwebaze Mathias a facilitator while sharing the objectives of the training in one of the training venues.

‘’ Iam serving my second term (5th year) as chairperson HUMC but have never seen a training of the sort where we are imparted with knowledge and skills to do our work effectively, am sure things are going to change because we know what to do exactly’’, said George Turanzomwe chairperson HUMC Kidubuli HC III in Busoro Sub county.

‘’ For me i have not been knowing what to do exactly on my roles and responsibilities, we have been stepping on each other’s toes, iam thanking God & the organizers for thinking about us and pledge that we are going to change for the better from the way we have been working especially on our roles as HUMC members’’, said Joyce Catherine, member HUMC Kataraka HC IV in Fort Portal municipality.
The Sub County Chief Rutete Stephen Birungi giving closing remarks during the training
‘’The training has equipped us with knowledge and skills towards our roles and responsibilities. We request ToroDev to always refresh HUMC members so that they can play their roles effectively in their respective health units’’, said Tom Ngasirwa chairperson Harugongo health centre III.
“It is over 6 years now since we had a similar training and this has been a big challenge to new members especially on what they are supposed to do, we thank ToroDev for giving us such an opportunity which will improve our work and we pledge to share knowledge and skills so that we can improve health services delivery issues in our district’’, said Ms Kabarangira Rosette HUMC member Karambi HC III.

 “With this training we pledge to improve on monitoring health services especially on requisition of drugs, absenteeism of health workers, lobbying & advocating for improved health services using ICT tools, etc now that we have learnt that all fall under our mandate. We request ToroDev to work hand in hand with the district to also train nurses so that they can  also play their roles effectively’’, said  Sam Muzoora  HUMC  chairperson Kagote HC III.

During the orientation trainings action points were reached including; health management committee members pledging to avail themselves  to  inspect drug delivery at their respective health centre’s, working as a team with health In-charges and other duty bearers, checking absenteeism of health workers including reporting & leaving time (hours), Bridging the gap between  the community and the facility by providing the right information using ICT tools, Filling vacant positions of HUMC members to make a complete working committee, Forming HUMC whatsapp group page for Kabarole district to discuss health service delivery issues, etc
Participants pose for a group photo after the training at Kataraka HC IV

We take a great opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all our partners who have supported us financially and for the technical advice to keep our people informed.