September 8th-16th, 2016 was a period of trained Community based organizations’ members to comb villages and urban centers in Kasese District, sensitizing people on Conflicts prevention and management and human rights violations prevention. This one week work left 1347 males and 1657 females reached through; Music dance and drama, Community meetings, house to house visits, and Peer to peer method.
Ten community based organizations from Kitswamba, Munkunyu, L.Katwe, Karusandara sub counties and Katwe Kabatoro town council that included; Karusandara youth united Development association, Kikorongo Service Centre, Katunguru Women’s resource users Foundation, Katwe Kabatoro association for PWDs, Kakone Mwemukye Tufanye Youth, Mother Care Women Group, Kitsutsu Youth, Ophfund Uganda ,Bigando Youth United group and Bigando Farmers deployed 300 trained members of their organizations to carry a one week sensitization campaign of communities for Peaceful co-existence and Human rights violations prevention.
|One of the sensitization meetings in Munkunyu sub county|
Several issues were raised by community people reached that among others included the following;
· Most conflicts are silent and therefore end up in communities and homes, un reported.
· Cases of Domestic violence especially against women and children are still rampant in communities
· Early marriages and adolescents’ sex abuse are still common in communities, needing serious intervention.
· Most organizations in communities do work on prevention especially concerning sexual abuse. The response part has not been fully funded and this has left most victims traumatized in communities, and has promoted connivance between child sex abusers with Parents of the victims because after all they see no help at all than settling their issues locally
· Violent Conflicts to a great extent are being triggered and fueled by bad politics. “Politicians are target workers and do not at all mind about their actions so long as they have achieved their missions”, said by one of the community members in Bigando, Kitswamba sub county.
· Youth un employment is contributing a lot to un ending conflicts in communities. The Youths are easily lured into bad acts because they have nothing to do, and lose
· Politicizing culture has also bred conflicts in Kasese Communities. According to some members, there are tendencies of destabilizing Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu cultural institution for political interests that face resistance from people who very much believe in it.
· Land conflicts are increasing because of population increase, which population is not innovative enough to maximamly utilize the little available land.
· Most community people are still ignorant of the laws governing Ugandans as per the National constitution. Many offences have been committed ignorantly.
· People have not changed their behaviors of engaging in reckless acts like adultery, defilement, prostitution especially in the fishing villages and urban communities which has contributed to increasing cases of HIV and AIDS.
· Climate change is a serious threat to Peace and development in the communities visited. Seasons have changed and yet over 80% of community members derive their livelihoods from Agriculture. If no action is taken to completely tackle climate change, more conflicts of survival are yet to happen.
· Police force according to most community members is not a people’s force, but a political force.
|Sensitization local meeting by a Foot Peace Ambassador in Lake Katwe sub county|
This sensitization exercise has made us to learn the following;
· A lot of information is wrongly/or under reported about local communities by media. There is need to invest in community journalism for evidence based reporting of genuine community issues.
· Investing enough in civic education may tremendously reduce on un lawful actions by community members. Most of them are just used by self seekers, ignorantly.
· Police force has a lot to do in redeeming its image in communities. Stakeholders need to come in to help close the gap between Police and the civilians if people must support actions of law enforcement, championed by Police.