|Mr. Chairman, I must tell you these law enforcement officers are a burden to us here at Kanara fishing village, tell us who is supposed to patrol the lake, BMU or Law enforcement officers? we want you to tell us now!|
The 31st of July,2013 will remain a remarkable day in the history of Kanara Town council, Ntoroko District in the Rwenzori region of Uganda.
Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development in Partnership with Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) organized a Citizens Manifesto day in Ntoroko south cell, Kanara Town council to discuss local development challenges with both the District and Town council leaders.
|Mr. Kyamanywa Timothy, District Chairperson stretching as the District speaker, Vice chairperson and CAO look on.|
Among the leaders were; The Ntoroko District Chairperson Mr. Timothy Kyamanywa and his Vice Hon. Ahebwa Justus, The Chief administrative officer Mr.Ashaba Allan, The District speaker Hon. Betty Tembe, The District Education Officer Mr.Mubarak Masereka, The District Naads Coordinator, The District Engineer, The District Physical Planner, The District Health Officer and the Town Council leadership including the Town mayor Mr. Yusuf Byaruhanga, Town clerk, Town treasurer, Chairperson Beach management unit, Naads extension providers among others.
The residents who attended in big numbers were represented by the Neighborhood assembly speaker in presenting a report highlighting the status of service delivery in the town council. Among the challenges highlighted were:-
|The NA Speaker narrating the plight of Kanara dwellers."Today should be the time for answers to our challenges not just promisses as it is always done during election campaigns"|
· Reduced pupils enrolment at Ntoroko primary school from 982 to 750 since January, 2013 attributed to the fishing activities that attract children and parents’ negligence;
· Poor living condition of teachers, who even have no staff quarters, a case in point of Ntoroko Primary school with eighteen (18) teachers;
· Un friendly school environment whereby pupils share the same environment with baboons. This is risky to their lives and for the last one month, a person arm was chopped by a baboon;
· Reluctance of Local leaders to attend meetings organized by the residents. This was however attributed to most political leaders staying long in their offices and now take those offices as their own assets;
· Increasing transport fares on the Kanara-Fortprotal road from 6000UGX to 15000UGX in just less than six months;
· Corruption among the police men and women, who intimidate residents just to get money from them;
· Un clarified law enforcement team at the lake(Lake albert), whereby the number of law enforcers was increasing time and again and this according to residents was promoting corruption and increasing illegal fishing;
· Ignorance by the residents about the 25% fund to the village councils/cells and whether the youth fund from the District was still being received;
· Un clear taxes levied on fish by Beach management unit. “…every leader comes up with his own tax, what is the official tax..”? Asked by a resident. It was also revealed that confiscated fish from illegal fishing activities are not burnt but again sold out to people close to the Law Enforcement Officers
· Residents challenged the leaders whether they do not know where sub-standard nets are manufactured instead of wasting time and resources, chasing fisher men at the lake.
The above highlighted issues necessitated leaders’ responses by the CAO, District Chairperson, District speaker, DEO, Town council Mayor responded as follows;-
|Mr. Allan Ashaba, the CAO Ntoroko District responding to the issues raised by the community.|
· The town Mayor and Town clerk were ordered by the LCV C/P to meet the UTODA Leadership in Fort-portal about the un clear transport fairs and in a weeks time give him a report;
· Some Local councils were not receiving the 25% because they have failed to account for the last disbursements and were ordered in that meeting to immediately do so without delay;
· The District speaker testified that in the Town council budget for the last financial year, it was passed that the Ntoroko Town council playground be fenced to protect people from baboons. The mayor however defended his team that money was not enough but pledged to fence it in this financial year;
|Ms. Betty Tembe, the District Speaker expressing her support for the residents from today on wards..|
· The CAO assured the residents that 30m UGX have been allocated to construct a five stance latrine at Ntoroko primary school in two months period from August. He also noted that 20M UGX have been received from UNICEF to support the roofing of an ECD Centre that was blown by wind in Ntoroko south cell.
· One (100) hundred iron sheets were revealed to the residents as having been contributed by the Town council and Beach management unit to construct a semi-permanent staff quarters at Ntoroko primary school. And that soon in this financial year, the construction is to commence. The CAO however explained to the residents that a governments’ policy on constructing staff quarters was changed where by concentration is now on the hard to reach and live communities, which are often rural.
· Awareness was also made by the D.E.O to the residents that the government accepted each parent in urban centers to contribute Ugx. 10,400/ to facilitate in the management of schools, un like before. He also explained that UPE Disbursements are to be sent termly as opposed to the last years where funds were sent quarterly and this was incapacitating schools. And that UPE Funds are spent as; 15% in administration and 10% in Management.
|Mr. Mubarak Masereka, the District education officer educating residents on UPE|
· About the support to the elderly, the CAO explained that the Government was piloting the project in few Districts, and that Ntoroko District was not among.
· About the youth fund from the District, it was brought to the residents’ notice that the allocation to all sub counties is always Ugx 5 millions and therefore becomes hard to be felt by residents. The Speaker however pledged support in lobbying for an increment in the next financial year.
· The CAO and district chairperson updated residents about scholarships; that Five were given by UNICEF but expressed dissatisfaction about the Kanara community whereby none of their children qualify for the scholarships which are competitive. He challenged the parents to invest in educating their children for a better future. The C/P LCV also called at residents to approach him in office and pick scholarship application forms for the Universities of: Mutesa Royal University, Mountains of the Moon University and Uganda Pentecost University.
In the district chairperson’s closing remarks, he thanked Good Hope Foundation for empowering residents with skills to mobilize each other and engage their leaders. He however requested for an extension of the project to all sub counties of the District for all residents to benefit.
He pledged to write to UWA about the un controlled baboons and ask them to come up with an immediate solution to the problem.
About developments in the District, he informed residents that the District had locally collected Ugx. 450 millions to construct the District administration block, and that the construction had started. He challenged parents to bring up their children morally and academically well because the a good future is assured, and instructed the CAO to follow-up on the alleged poor management of UPE Funds.
He closed the Activity by one again thanking Good Hope Foundation and Neighborhood assembly for great work and promised great support in fighting illegal fishing on Lake Albert, and informed residents that he is to share the Town council challenges with the President on his visit to the District this month.