EAST AFRICA SUB REGIONAL REPORT PRESENTED DURING THE TRADE UNION TRAINING ON OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON HIV/AIDS. (6th – 31st MAY,2002 – TURIN –ITALY) PREAMBLE: This sub region report has been compiled from the extracts of the country reports produced by the following course participants: 1. Meja Kapalata - Tanzania 2. Tumwesiga Joyce - Uganda 3. Theuri Florence - Kenya 4. Zewdie Tsegayi - Ethiopia 5. Lemlem Beyene Kassa - Eritrea INTRODUCTION. National context. For the purpose of this couse work, the E.A sub-region include - Uganda, Kenya,Tanzania, Ethiopia and Eritrea. All these countries were coloniesed between 1890 – 1991 except Ethiopia. Ever since their independence these countries have been under going miltary intervations, except for Kenya and Tanzania which have enjoyed a limited amount of democracy. Like other countries, that have been plagued by military rule, their economiies have suffered politically, economically and socially. However in the last 10 – 16 years all these are now under civillian rule although some of them are still rulled by X millitary officers. Political structure. All these countries started with mono party political structure, western and eastern oriented. In 1990s, following the collapse of the socialist/communist idealogies of the eastern block, most of them adopted a mult party system with mixed capitalistic and socialistic economy. Economic Structure The backbone of E.African economy lies in Agriculture,where their foreign exchange is earned. The major export items are: Coffee, Tea Hortculture,Oil seeds, Livestock,Tobbaco,Beans, Cotton, Maize, Cocoa, Qats, soda ash, and fish. The major imports of the region are mainly Petrollium products, Manufacturing equipments and machinery, semi-processed raw materials,Phamaceticals, building materials, transport materials e.t.c. The GDP is approximately 5.2% . Countries in the sub region follow free market economy which have been influenced by the world bank and IMF through structural adjustment programmes. There are some economic groupings in the sub region, which include COMESA, East African Community,IGAD, and SADC. Social and Labour Structure Education. The structure of education varries from one country to another. In Kenya, the system is 8years in primary school, 4years in secondary school, and 4 years in the University. In Uganda and Tanzania, it is 7 years in primary, 4years in secondary, 2years in higher education and 2 – 5 years in the University. Ethiopia is 4years in Primary, 4years in Junior secondry, 2years in secondary and 3years in the University. Eritrea is 5years in primary, 2years junior secondary, 3years secondary and 4years in University.The average illetracy rate in the region is 40%. Social Welfare The welfare facilities e.g schools, hospitals, water suply,electricity and other facilities are still very minimal. Access to primary health care facilities is about 50%. Majority of the people live below the poverty dotum line. Life expectance in the region is approximately 52 years which has declined as a result of HIV/AIDS pandemic. The average infant motality rate is approximately 100/1000 live births. Generaly the infrastructure and the standard of living is very poor. Empolyment All the countries in the region have no up to date employment policy. Although there is no readily available statistics on the unemployment, the rate is very high as the result of internal and external problems which include the instability in some parts of the region, forced economic structural adjustment programs ( SAPs) which have led to the following: Weakening and/or destroying whatever little productive capacity particularly in the manufacturing and agriculture sector due to competition, resulting to loss of employment through retrenchment, redundancies and early retirements. Complete vulnerability of the domestic economy to external shocks Loss of sovereignty of the government to address distributional and other social issues according to the circumstance Triggering competitive devaluation and unproductive competition among the least developed countries since most of them have similar endowments or comparative advantages. Trade Union Structure The history of labour movemnt in the region started in the early 20 th century. The major objective of the T/U is to protect and improve the general conditions of the workers. The structures of the T/U in Uganda,Tanzania and Kenya are the same. There is only one national centre to which all the affliated unions fall. COTU Kenya has 32 affliates with a total membership of 400,000 out of which 25% are women, TUCTA of Tanzania has 12 affliates with a total membership of 700,000 members out of which 35% are women and NOTU Uganda has 19 affliates with a total membership of about 114,000 out of which 31.9% are women. The potential membership of the Region is over 3,000,000. All the adminisrative matters of these centres are handled by the Secretary General Who is a full time worker of the union. The delegates conference elect this officer together with other secretariate members from all the affliates at the end of every 5 years. These centers are affliated to ICFTU, EATUC, OAATU, SATUC and IUF. The Eriterian and Ethiopian Trade Unions have the same structure. In Ertitera there are about 225 basic unions (with a total memebership of 23,015 workers)organized in five Federations. The five federations constitute the National umbrella called the National Cofederation of Eriterian Workers. In Ethiopian there are about 450 Basic unions (unions at enterprise level). These Basic Unions are again organized in Nine National Industrial Federations. The National Umbrella, The Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union is formed by the affliation of the Nine National Indusrial Federations. The total membership of the cofederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions is about 450,000. In Eriterian and Ethiopia four major power structures composes the top level of the organizations ; they are the Congress, the General council, the Audit committee and the executive Committee. The congress is the supreme body and the general council is the second decision making body, which recieves directives from the congress. The executive committee is elected by the congress and is accountable to the general council. MAJOR OSH AND HIV/AIDS PROBLEMS OSH is still a major problem in the region as the result of obsolute labour laws and none ratification and implementation of ILO conventions on OSH which include C 155, 161, and 172 e.t.c. Besides that, the employers have also aggravated the problem by deliberately avoiding safety measures at the workplace. Concerning HIV/AIDs, the T/U and the governments within the region have tried to put in place a series of measures to develop sustainable mechanisms for appropriate response to fight against the scourge. Although much awareness among the population have been created, the problem of behavioural change still persists. The Major OSH and HIV/AIDS problems are: Stigma and discrimination of WLWHA Accidents from the factory and farms machinery, falls etc. Diseases due to unhealthy conditions in workplace e.g bronchitis and other respiratory infections due to dust. Malarial due to low level of hygiene Inadequate public health services Increased rate of infection among the youth especially among the girls. High rate of HIV/AIDS orphans. Lack of vaccine and affordable drugs Inadequate counselling capacity- logistics and human resources. Non provision of appropriate protective gears. Breach of confidentiality of HIV/AIDS status The effects of these are problems are: Increased cases of absenteeism hence low productivity due to sicknesses. Loss of experienced or skilled leaders, workers and trade union members due to death. Increased insurance premiums, high costs of treatment. Loss of income and suffering of the family especially women. Reduces the govt and the company’s social, economic, and political development Early retirement and termination due to ill health. higher cases of child labour. Failure to ensure the protection of human rights and dignity against unlawful discrimination of employees based on percieved or real HIV status. MAJOR ORGANISATIONAL PROBLEMS RELATED TO THE WORK OF T/Us IN THE AREA OF OSH AND HIV/AIDS The major problems in the region are: Low capacity to implement their plan on OSH and prevention of HIV/AIDs at workplace and the community. Loss of membership resulting to reduction in union dues Expanded expansive advocacy in HIV/AIDs and OSH programmes Non recognition of HIV/AIDs as a workplace issue High rate of illeteracy and poverty Bad cultural attitudes and beliefs Inadquate and/or outdated legislations on OSH Lack of OSH/HIV/AIDS policies Lack of OHS structures Lack of data base SAPs which has led to casualisation of labour, loss of employment by members and weakening of the trade union movement. Conclusion. We wish to take this opportunity to thank ILO/ACTRAV for their efforts in continuous training of trade union members on issues pertaining to the improvement of trade unions. This course on OSH/HIV/AIDS has come on at the right time where T/Us have a challenge of developing workplan policies relating to the above. We hope that at the end of the course, we shall come with strategies to improve on the working and living conditions of our members and the community at large. ALUTA CONTINUA.