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Saturday, March 30, 2013

MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE BILL CONSULTATIVE MEETING IN KAMWENGE DISTRICT



The meeting which had been organized by Rwenzori consortium for civic competence in partnership with karambi action for life improvement and member’s from the parliament took place on 28th /03/2013.
 The one day meeting organized in two places that is in Ntara sub county headquarters and kamwenge town council in the catholic social hall attracted over 300 individuals from the neighbouring villages of kicwamba, mahyoro, Nyabani and the local government staffs.whereby
Residents of Kamwenge district who attended the consultative meeting on the Marriage and Divorce Bill asked the members of parliament to remove the clause of marital rape from the bill.

two women MPS  for kamwenge and kyeggegwa from left Dorothy and Flavia responding to peoples reactions
Speaker after speaker during a consultative meeting at Ntara sub-county headquarters by the Kamwenge woman MP Dorothy Kashaiza pointed out that the inclusion of marital rape clause in the bill will cause more cases of domestic violence, she further noted that people are not sensitized on the types of marriages Article 26 of the Ugandan constitution allows every one irrespective of sex to own a property and most people especially women do not know their rights to owning properties.
 
MR Buswera kakwenzire the retired priest presenting his reactions
One of the participants MR Buswera kakwenzire the retired priest  of Ntara Sub county said that marital rape has to be excluded because it will be an advocacy for polygamy as men who will be punished by it will seek to marry other women and abandon their first wives and does not support the refund of bride price..
Majority of the people said that there is nothing called marital rape in their families only that most couples have not been sensitized on the value of conjugal rights.
The residents of Kamwenge also recommended that parliament should abolish the name bride price and replace it with marriage gifts because it has been realized that most parents have taken the marriage of their daughters as business.
YosintaKasembo, the vice Chairperson LC 3 of Ntara sub-county said that with the bride price being paid, the sons of the poor people will not marry the women of their choice because they cannot afford the demands of their in-laws.
The residents also called for the deletion of the cohabitation clause, the issue of Divorce and that widow inheritance should not be regulated by the government.
They also asked the MPs to increase the age of consent to marriage by a man and woman to twenty one years.
Also rejected by the people of Kamwenge is the title of the Bill as they urged that Divorce should not be included adding that it will be the cause of problems because it provides for the contentious issue of sharing property.
The Kamwenge woman MP Dorothy kashaizas aid that parliament will base on the majority recommendations on the different clause because every MP has been in their constituency carrying out consultations on the matter.

 
from left district speaker Hon mp flavia and the LC iii c/man Ntara
She was accompanied by the Kyegegwa Woman MP Flavia Kabehenda Rwabuhoro who said that the church has failed to protect families a reason why the state has come in, their main intention is not to promote divorce but to protect the masses from conflicts therefore calls upon religious leaders to preach against divorce in her words she said; “I have never divorced, never beaten and does not want to divorce at all”.
She therefore asked parents to always express love to their children so that they can be able to settle in their new families.

Monday, March 25, 2013

And the I.C.T wave finally sweeps Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo

“Enhancing civic competence for social accountability” has fully taken over Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa Districts. The four days activity for the two districts saw them fully connected after setting up the two E-society centers.

The activity that started from 19th to 22nd of March 2013 left both districts in jubilation as internet connectivity and trainings would be done at ease at any time. This is also the same project that will enable information sharing to all stake holders in the districts and all other international partners through the accompanied online platforms.
Staff at Work during the set up
For instance kyegegwa can be accessed at www.kyegegwa.go.ug and Kyenjojo at www.kyenjojo.go.ug .
Speaking to the District planner Kyegegwa Mr.Kutesa Andrew who is also the focal person for this project, he expressed gratitude for the project in the District and thanked RIC-NET for having availed such a big project to them.
Speaking to the C.A.O and Deputy C.A.O kyenjojo shortly before the set up, they expressed interest in the project and committed their full support to the project.
D.I.O Kyenjojo giving remarks after the set up
 The District Information officer kyenjojo Mr.Kamara also in the same way appreciated the efforts of RIC-NET for having established such a big project to the district. He also emphasized that the project would enable timely information sharing to the entire community.
Just like the already established centers, Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo will offer same services like;
·         Free computer literacy trainings
·         Access to internet
·         Updates of the online platforms (websites, e-libraries) among others
Ntoroko District is up next with an E-society.


RWECO LAUNCHES POLICY BRIEF ON WATER, HEALTH AND EDUCATION SECTORS.



A policy according to the Vice LCV Chairperson Kabarole district, who participated in this event, is a plan for action. In the bid to deliver services to it’s people the government of Uganda has set policies for the different sectors to guide their actions.
With the mandate to compliment government programs, RWECO conducted a participatory policy assessment in the water, health and education sectors; the assessment that was conducted in 10 sub counties  in five districts in the Rwenzori region aimed at linking the existing policies to service delivery  vis -a – viz the government manifesto (2011 - 2016).
Ø  Other aims were to find out feedback from the users of services in Education, health, and water sectors;
Ø  To find out practical actions that communities, local authorities, line ministries and other stakeholders can take to improve delivery of basic services at community level;
Ø  To come up with suggestions on policy alternatives on delivery of basic services in the education
Several findings were compiled, analyzed and summarized into a policy brief that RWECO launched on 19/03/13 at Gardens restaurant in Fort portal. 
Speaking at the launch meeting the RWECO Coordinator, Jimmy Odyek welcomed members to the meeting, highlighted it’s purpose and also welcomed Mr. Misusera Mukasa the lead consultant in the assessment to share some key findings in the report. They included;


Photo of a copy of the policy brief paper



 Education Sector
Ø  Poor performance in PLE Exams e.g Kichwamba btn 2009-2011 never got any first grades 
Ø  Bad staff welfare including ongoing professional development.
Ø  High girl child drop- out rate from  school
Ø  Insufficient fund releases
Ø  Automatic promotion; 100% of respondents described it as a bad policy that contributed to children’s failure in the exams. They added that children do not work hard enough to get promoted because it is automatic
Ø  60% of the schools visited noted poor parents support towards their children’s education
Ø  Irregular inspection of schools e.g - Kidudu –Kyenjojo, Hope in Kabarole, Kichwamba in Kamwenge
Ø  Facilities available in the school, number of classrooms, desks, latrine stances, essential text books;- Others were average except for Nyaruroma
Ø  PTA/SMCs exist but not doing the rightful roles
Health Sector
Ø  25% of the HC compounds visited were well maintained however Examples of poorly maintained Health units include Nyahuka HC4- Bundibugyo, and Kabaka in Kasese.
Ø  All health units visited were open at the time of visit which was a good indicator.
Ø  Understaffing in all the HCs visited.
Ø  75% of the health units surveyed had essential drugs.
Ø  Inadequate PHC releases.
Ø  Quality of Health facility structure: 42% were good, 50% were fair and 8 % were poor.
Ø  Lack of basic structures; placenta pits, kitchens, pit latrines, rubbish bins was observed in most HCs.
Ø  29% of the HCs had good houses, 39% were average and 25% were very poor.
Ø  58% of HCs surveyed had some form of power although quite many had only solar power which was fairly good. 
Ø  Prevalence of immunizable diseases was at 33% and yet services were available. Poor staff welfare.
Water Sector
Ø  52% functional, 18% occasional 30% non functional (Nyabusozi in Nyantungo SC Kyenjojo, Rutorwa- Busoro SC Kabarole .
Ø  Quantity of water (yield) was at 52% good, 39% was average 9% poor
Ø  73% of the water points committees had never been trained on their roles and responsibilities.
Ø  Quality of water. 64% said it was good, 13% poor, 23% was fair.
Ø  Usability of water facility- 74%  were congested and 26% were not.
Ø  Management of Water Point e.g. (presence of a caretaker). 32% were poorly maintained e.g Karaphael- katooke town council- Kyenjojo, Kangora borehole in Kamwenge, Kakoga Shallow well –Mubuku 2, Karusandara-Kasese
Ø  Payment of user fees- 68% of the respondents said users do not pay
Ø  Construction near pit latrines- 23% were only 100 meters away, which was dangerous and only 45% were far by 500 meters plus.
Ø  Catchment areas 59% serve between 3-4 villages
Wholesomely the assessment noted that, it is evident that certain Education, Health and Water policy provisions are not met. Whereas there is a big stride to meet some of them say in the provision of safe water to the people, management and maintenance of those points has had challenges. And that increased enrollment has been achieved while at the same time performance and maintenance of children in school remains a challenge.   It is therefore imperative upon central and local governments to ensure that the gaps pointed out in the policy provision are worked upon.
Mr. Mukasa presenting at the meeting
Commenting on the findings, members thanked Mr. Mukasa for the information and appreciated that most of the findings were true although districts were doing all they can to address the service delivery challenges mentioned above.
For instance the Vice LCV Chairperson Kabarole explained that Kabarole had recruited more teachers, was conducting routine immunization, is building more infrastructures, although he decried other outstanding challenges like poor road network in the district, corruption and late release of funds.
He however thanked CSOs for always complimenting government programs, “NGOs work as blood vessels linking and developing every sector, in fort portal alone 7% of the district budget I funded by NGOs; the contribution of NGOs can never be taken for granted

Presiding over the function as Chief Guest, the RDC Kabarole district, also thanked RWECO for their efforts in monitoring public expenditure and ensuring that serves are effectively delivered to the communities. He challenged the people in attendance to ensure that what has been discussed is greatly achieved by the people they represent. The RDC regretted to note that some rich people in the community are mean so much so that they build so many  big storied houses and buy so many expensive cars yet they cannot out of good will build even a two roomed staff house for HCs or schools in their communities of which their own relatives are beneficiaries. The RDC crowned the meeting with the launch of the Policy brief paper.  (Copies of this policy brief  can be got at the RWECO member offices; KALI,GHRD,RIC-NET,RIDE-Africa and RWECO Coordinating Unit)
 
The Kabarole RDC  (center)together with the LCV Vice chairpersons Bundibugyo (left) and Kabarole Districts (right) launch the policy brief
The meeting was attended by approximately 35 persons from the Rwenzori region; they included District Executive Committee members, District speakers, CSO and media representatives, and RWECO staff members.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

NTOROKO DISTRICT LEADERSHIP SIGNS M.O.U WITH RIC-NET




On Thursday the 14th day of march 2013 a completely signed memorandum of understanding was shared between the Ntoroko District Leadership represented by the District Information officer Mr. Baluku Ibrahim and the RIC-NET Administration headed by the Executive Director Mr. M John Silco with the Ntoroko ICT Assistant Mr. Mugume Shaban together with the Kyegegwa ICT Assistant Miss Mbabazi Bridget. A room just behind the CAO’s office was selected to accommodate the E-society centre where Trainings, printing, photocopying and access to internet among others shall take place. Every arrangement to setup the centre is ongoing and in a positive direction.

NTOROKO DISTRICT LEADERSHIP EMBRACES ICT



NTOROKO DISTRICT LEADERSHIP EMBRACES ICT 

On the 13th day of February, 2013 RIC-NET’s Executive Director Mr. John Silco and two ICT Volunteers Mr. Shaban Mugume and Ms. Sharon Kagoro met with the Ntoroko District CAO Mr. Allan in the Boardroom at the District Headquarters over the establishment of the District E-society resource Centre.
During the meeting the Executive Director shared with the CAO what RIC-NET is, and what it does. He also shared the concept of the E-society Centre, E-platforms and the MoU concerning the RIC-NET partnership with the District. Responding to the sharing, the CAO expressed gratitude to RIC-NET for this initiative and also pledged total support to the establishment of this centre. He appreciated the fact that the initiative was going to improve information sharing and accountability amongst the leaders and the citizens.
At the end of the meeting the following was agreed upon;
  1. Since there’s no orange network at the District Headquarters, MTN internet will be used and boosted since the signal strength there is weak.
  2. The district should identify and prepare a room to house the E-society centre/resource centre and also consider budgeting in the long-term for the ICT department.
  3. Ntoroko district should work out with UCC to secure rights to frequently update their website which at the moment is managed by UCC.
  4. As a key result of the meeting, the process of signing the Memorandum of Understanding kicked off.