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UGANDA NEWS BRIEFS – 27 JUNE 2008 UGANDA NEWS BRIEFS

VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 13

									UGANDA NEWS BRIEFS – 14 AUGUST 2008

*Please note that the daily news bulletin can also be accessed on the Uganda Clusters
website, www.ugandaclusters.ug

Northern Uganda
Acholi IDPs return home to land wars (Weekly Observer)
http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=794&Itemid=59
Bitter land disputes are raging in northern Uganda posing yet another threat to the people now
returning home after nearly two decades in Internally Displaced People‟s camps.
More than half of the formerly displaced people have returned home after calm returned to this war-
torn area more than two years ago. However, more than a year after peace talks began in the South
Sudan city of Juba; the government and Joseph Kony‟s Lord‟s Resistance Army (LRA) are yet to
hammer out a peace deal that would put a permanent stop to the conflict.

Nevertheless, returnees have continued to trickle back into their villages where many are finding
themselves clashing over land as they try to trace long-forgotten boundaries.

Authorities say this is mainly because most people, especially younger ones, do not remember the
boundaries while those who lost their parents during the war are fighting for the right to inherit the land
that previously belonged to them.
By the end of July, some 950 cases of land disputes had been registered at the Chief Magistrate‟s
Court in Gulu.

Puma Charles, the Clerk to Council Gulu District, said some former child soldiers of the LRA had been
rejected by their communities, leading to more conflicts. He said that several rescued children have
been stigmatised and rejected by relatives, ending up on the streets.

The conflict in northern Uganda started in 1986.
However, since July 2006 there has been relative peace in the region, boosted by the on-going peace
talks in Juba.
The European Union has partnered with Save the Children in Uganda, a non-government
organisation, to implement a project aimed at preventing new conflicts.

The Gulu-based project known as Community Conflict Resolution and Peace Building, will be
implemented by Save the Children and funded by the EU.
Under this project, conflict resolution, peace building as well as mediation in social conflicts among
returning communities will be supported.
The project will also help to reconcile opposition groups and integrate victims of war to advocate for
their rights.

The Shs 500 million project to run for 18 months will also help establish mechanisms of conflict
resolution in Acholi through supporting the Gulu District Conflict Resolution and Peace Team (DRPT).
Facilitators include elders, religious leaders, local government officials, cultural leaders and civil
society organisations.

“DRPT is bringing a rainbow showing significance that after this storm peace will return. We want to
bring children a future of peace they have not known and hope they never see war again,” said the
EU Head of Delegation in Uganda, Vincent De Visscher while launching the project in Gulu recently.

In addition, re-integration of ex-LRA combatants within their communities will be supported.
“Without investment in reconciliation and peace building processes at community level for adults and
children in northern Uganda, it will be impossible to sustain the peace ushered in by the Juba peace
process,” said Helene Anderson Novela, the Country Director, Save the Children.

Novela added that the children of northern Uganda are also asking the public to take them seriously
and listen to their voices because they bore the brunt of the war and have a vital contribution to make
towards peace building.




                                                                                                         1
The children are asking their district leaders to persuade the government to ask the International
Criminal Court to withdraw Kony‟s indictment.
“The warrants are threatening the peace process,” said Brian Otim, who spoke on behalf of the
children during the ceremony.

Leave camps, IDPs advised (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/16/644331
AMURU-The internally displaced people still living in the main and satellite camps throughout the
district have been advised to leave the camps and return to their original villages. The resident district
commissioner, Yakobo Komakech, also appealed to the local leaders to mobilise the people to leave
the camps and benefit from projects under the Peace, Recovery and Development Programme.
Komakech, who chairs the district security committee, was on Monday, speaking at Awer camp.

Govt provides Sh254b for peace project (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/644379
THE Government has earmarked sh254.3b for districts under the Peace, Recovery and Development
Plan (PRDP).

The Prime Minister, Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, last week told Parliament that the beneficiaries were in the
West Nile, Acholi, Lango, Teso, Karamoja, Elgon, Bukedi and Bunyoro regions.

The major aim of the plan is to empower and rebuild areas devastated by the 21-year-long LRA war.

The Prime Minister said several ministries and development partners were involved in the
implementation of the project.

The water ministry, Nsibambi said, had allocated sh5b for the provision of clean water and for
environmental management activities.

The Premier was responding to concerns by Reagan Okumu (FDC) and Simon Oyet (FDC) that the
internally displaced persons returning to their villages lackedbasic social services. They made the
remarks while debating this financial year‟s budget.

Nsibambi explained that under the plan, the areas of focus included the Police, the Judiciary,
education, water and sanitation, primary healthcare and roads.
“The Government‟s priority is on security, peace, law and order.

“This explains the effort we have put in establishing Police posts in Acholi, Lango and Teso sub-
regions and the recruitment of Anti-Stock Theft Unit personnel to curb cattle rustling.”
Recently, the northern Uganda minister, David Wakikona, said the three-year plan, would be
implemented this financial year.

“The PRDP seeks to contribute to community recovery, improve the conditions and quality of life of
displaced persons and reintegration of displaced populations.”

Doubts Over Recovery Plan (Institute for War & Peace Reporting)
http://www.iwpr.net/?p=acr&s=f&o=346137&apc_state=henh
As two decades of war with the rebel Lord‟s Resistance Army, LRA, come to a close in northern
Uganda, focus is quickly shifting to rebuilding shattered lives and the economy.

To accomplish this, the Ugandan government has formulated a rehabilitation plan that could cost an
estimated 900 million US dollars to accomplish, according to official figures.

But few in the north have confidence that the money will flow or that the work will be done. Rather,
they claim that only the rich and influential in the country will benefit.

Known as the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan, PRDP, the reconstruction blueprint was
ordered by President Yoweri Museveni earlier this year and is expected to span three years.




                                                                                                         2
The PRDP is a broad ranging response to the devastation caused by 20 years of guerilla war and
broadly sets out a reconstruction and redevelopment roadmap that is to be followed by various
sectors of government and private partners.

It is intended to provide safe water, revive education, establish security, improve roads, provide
emergency relief, fight HIV/AIDS and expand farming with oxen and plough to support food production
and incomes across the north.

The security situation in the region has greatly improved following the peace talks between the LRA
and the government that began two years ago prompting most of the internal refugees to return to
their homes voluntarily.

Despite its lofty goals, many across the north are skeptical of the PRDP, however, in large part
because many blame the government for the ills of the north.

This includes not only the war, but also the forced displacement of nearly two million residents who
were herded into 200 internal refugee camps, some for more than ten years.

“All the government projects that have been intended to help the poor, ended up in the hands of rich
people,” said James Apenyo, 50, a resident of Bol-nyapopiny village in northern Uganda, reflecting
the views of many in the region who say they have gained little from current development
programmes.

To avoid corruption, many locals interviewed by IWPR suggested that the money be given directly to
the people who need the help, rather than funneling it through contractors and government agencies.

Peter Odongo, 40, a resident of Ogowie village, suggested that, at the very least, those handling the
fund and overseeing its implementation should work closely with the beneficiaries to ensure that the
money is spent properly and that people benefit.

Although the sources of this massive funding effort are still unclear, PRDP money is expected to be
channeled through non-governmental organisations, NGOs, and other agencies operating in Uganda.

Some officials are also sceptical of the plan.

Member of parliament for Pader Samuel Odonga Otto says there‟s a risk that the development effort
may never benefit the people it is intended to help.

“According to my experience, laptop warriors and those who know how to write project proposals are
now on standby to eat up the money,” he said, a reference to the international consultants whom
some locals believe are overpaid and inefficient.

Otto pointed out that the omens for the PRDP were not good given the problems associated with the
Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, NUSAF, which is tasked with the reconstruction of the north.

Presdient Museveni recently ordered and extensive investigation into corruption within NUSAF –
which has also been plagued by duplication and a complicated bureaucracy –yet this agency would
be expanded under the PRDP.

“I see no reason why the government is coming up with this project,” said Otto of the PRDP.

But those backing the PRDP insist it will work.

“The PRDP is a commitment by the government to stabilise and recover the north over the next three
years through a set of coherent programmes,” said Prime Minister Apollo Nsimbambi.

The programmes will run in 40 districts in the north and northeast where the LRA insurgency inflicted
the most damage, and were due to start officially on the July 1, according to the state minister for
northern Uganda rehabilitation, David Wakikona.




                                                                                                        3
Wakikona urged local leaders to ensure that local people see benefits of the projects.

“We are very keen that PRDP and other government reconstruction projects in the north are
implemented well,” he said.

“Government and humanitarian agencies have spent trillions of shillings in northern Uganda but the
impact is not felt.”

He said the government has created a new body, Northern Uganda Data Centre, NUDAC, to record
all the activities taking place in the region to avoid duplication and corruption.

Northern Aid Programme Probed (Institute for War & Peace Reporting)
http://www.iwpr.net/?p=acr&s=f&o=346143&apc_state=henh
The authorities are belatedly cracking down on suspected fraud that has plagued a long-running
development programme in the north of the country and raised doubts about the effectiveness of a
major new reconstruction project for the region.

In recent weeks, the courts have issued corruption charges against around twenty people linked to
work administered by the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, NUSAF, a government agency tasked
with managing projects to rebuild war-torn provinces in the north of the country.

Ten of the suspects were arrested on August 5 and remanded in custody in advance of their trial
which is due to begin next week. The remainder reportedly fled to South Sudan.

Northern Uganda is only now beginning to get to grips with the aftermath of 20 years of a rebel war
fought by the Lord‟s Resistance Army, LRA, from 1986 to 2006. The conflict caused the death of an
estimated 100,000 people and displaced nearly two million.

The suspects have been charged with various counts of theft, abuse of office, forgery, false
accounting, making false statements, embezzlement and causing financial losses, according to court
documents.

All of the accused were involved in one of the hundreds of projects being implementing, either as
community or agency managers.

NUSAF is a five-year community driven project largely funded by the World Bank with a budget of
131.30 million dollars, which ran from 2002 to the end of last year.

The purpose of the projects is to help the poor in various urban and semi-urban areas, in particular
the vulnerable, disadvantaged and displaced persons in the West Nile, Acholi, Lango, Teso and
Karamoja regions of northern and eastern Uganda.

According to procedures, redevelopment money flowed from the World Bank through NUSAF offices
to local communities who selected local leaders to head the projects.

The communities opened local bank accounts and the Bank of Uganda deposited the money into
project accounts.

The local leaders were signatories to the accounts and could withdraw the money as needed.

However, a review and evaluation of the projects last year revealed that the amount of money
withdrawn exceeded the cost and value of work that had been done, said officials.

As a result, those involved in the questionable projects were arrested.

The substantial irregularities alleged by the courts cast serious doubts over the government‟s new
reconstruction plans for the region. The Peace, Development and Recovery Plan, PRDP, broadly sets
out a development roadmap that is to be followed by various sectors of government and private
partners.




                                                                                                       4
It is intended to provide safe water, revive education, establish security, improve roads, provide
emergency relief, fight HIV/AIDS and expand farming with oxen and plough to support food production
and incomes across the north.

The new programme was to begin on July 1 and make extensive use of NUSAF, which has been the
conduit for many redevelopment projects.

One of the highest ranking officials to have been linked to the latest scandal is the Lira district
chairman, Franco Ojur, who police said was suspected of being involved in one the cases under
investigation.

A team from the police Criminal Investigation Department in Kampala reportedly questioned Ojur
regarding his involvement in a NUSAF-funded road rebuilding project.

The investigators, led by Assistant Police Commissioner Haruna Ntambi, also closed the NUSAF
offices in Lira and deployed armed policemen to protect documents that may be part of the inquiry.

Ntambi and other investigators questioned Ojur at Lira Central Police Station on August 6, saying he
was a potential witness in one of the cases, they told IWPR.

Ojur was interrogated because “his signature was found in one of the documents”, said Ntambi.

Ojur had earlier been implicated in a March 30, 2007 report prepared by a special committee of the
district council that probed NUSAF activities locally.

The report alleged that Ojur used his son, Joseph Olwa, a student at Makerere University in Kampala,
to sign a contract worth about 22,000 US dollars, to construct a road east of Lira.

“The contract was awarded on October 10, 2006, and signed the following day, under the signature of
one Joseph Olwa, who signed as director,” said the report.

When contacted by IWPR, Ojur dismissed the report, saying it was neither authentic nor accurate.

“If justice is for all, then all the projects must be investigated because they all have problems,” said
Ojur. “I don‟t have lists of those community project implicated, [but] there has been a general public
outcry.”

Ntambi told IWPR that he has investigated 16 projects and at least ten involved shoddy work,
misappropriation of funds, or were non-existent projects.

The investigators said they are looking into projects that were to build grain processing mills, road
construction, primary schools and overhaul laboratories, among others.

The NUSAF projects require local participation and are intended to help reduce poverty and promote
reconciliation amongst survivors of war with the LRA.

George Adoko, a senior NUSAF official, said agency resources have been allocated to 18 districts in
the north.

The Lira district was allocated about ten million dollars, but part of this money was misappropriated
and nobody was held accountable, said Adoko.

According to investigators, a total of 915 projects were funded in the district, but few have benefited
the community.

“The money was allocated to Lira district to help the communities rebuild their lives and homes after
long suffering in the [refugee] camps, but this fund was mismanaged by some few who [preferred]
fraud [over] development,” said Ntambi.

Government officials say the funds for each district varied according to the number of projects.



                                                                                                           5
One official, Fredrick Kwihiira, told IWPR that although money was disbursed, “people did shoddy
work, and part of the money was mismanaged”. This angered President Yoweri Museveni who
ordered that NUSAF be investigated, he said.

Museveni “issued a directive to police to have those implicated into the NUSAF saga arrested and
dragged to court so as they could face justice”, he said. “We pray that the suspects [are] prosecuted
and made to refund the money.”

Kwihiira said the problems were caused by conflicts between local communities, contractors, and
implementing agencies. As a result, money was withdrawn from accounts despite substandard work
or no work at all having been done on some projects.

Some communities have taken legal action against their own local leaders accused of misusing the
money. In one case, a local committee chairman and treasure were sued for the misuse of about
3,000 dollars.

The money was to have purchased four ox-ploughs and two ox-carts to help the community of Okwor
parish.

The purchase was never made and the steering committee officials were arrested and charged with
embezzlement. But the charge was subsequently reduced to simple theft, complained Joe Omodi, a
resident of Ayer village, west of Lira.

“We raised the complaint to the chief magistrate,” said Omodi, “but he advised us to complain to
department of public prosecution.”

Gabriel Nyipir, Lira chief magistrate, told IWPR that he was aware of the reduced charges, but
explained that was done at the request of the prosecutors, not the court.

Gulu probes corruption in NUSAF (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/16/644326
PEOPLE who dishonestly received money from the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF)
will be prosecuted, Gulu LC5 chairman Norbert Mao has warned.

He added that he had received many reports on the dubious allocation of the funds to illegitimate
beneficiaries.

However, Mao, who was on Tuesday speaking on a live call-in weekly talk show on Mega FM in Gulu
town, did not name any suspects or organisations.

He said they were being investigated by the Police, the Inspectorate of Government and the NUSAF
Management Unit in Gulu.

The development talk- show is an initiative of the offices of the LC5 chairpersons in the Acholi sub-
region encompassing the districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Amuru.

“There have been lots of reports about corrupt practices in NUSAF since the programme was
launched but no harsh steps have been taken against the culprits yet our people who should have
benefited from the funds are suffering,” observed Mao.

He was making reference to the recent questioning of Lira district chairman Franco Ojur and his wife
Joyce Akullu over a NUSAF project that was irregularly awarded to them in Abako sub-county.

The Police are investigating over 760 NUSAF projects suspected to have been dubiously awarded to
beneficiaries in Lira.

“Lira is not very far from Gulu. Moreover, the NUSAF headquarters are here. So, netting the suspects
will be very easy for us,” said Mao.




                                                                                                        6
“If there is anybody who thinks they will walk away with NUSAF money, they are just joking. We are
not going to leave any suspect scot free.”

In Kitgum district, a number of NUSAF officials have been charged with embezzlement.

Women returnees get farm implements (Daily Monitor)
http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/regional-
special/Women_returnees_get_farm_implements_69809.shtml
Gulu women received oxen and ploughs in a pilot project that seeks to empower them as they return
to their homes after leaving in camps for more than 20 years.

The project, which was launched last weekend in Lakwana, Bobi, Odek and Koro subcounties, will
help women boost their incomes through increased agricultural productivity.

Speaking during the launch, Gulu Woman Member of Parliament Betty Aol Ochan said the project
aimed at boosting capacities of women to engage in active agriculture as peace prevails in the
region.

Ms Ochan said: “This project has come to relieve us (women) of the burdens we underwent in the
older days. We could not have extensive cultivation hence the need to mechanise to achieve more
output.”

She said she used the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) she received from Parliament and
funds from other sources to implement the project.
Ms Ochan said she expects to give out more pairs of oxen and ox ploughs to more women groups in
the near future.

“We are still at the piloting stage, if it is found to be viable, we shall bring more women groups on
board so that we can alleviate poverty in our homes,” Ms Ochan said. So far, 30 oxen have been
given out to 15 women groups that are deemed more vulnerable in the communities that have
returned to their original villages.

The District Community Development Secretary, Mr Santa Oketta, cautioned women against
personalising the oxen if they are to benefit from the programme.

He said so many projects including some Northern Uganda Social Action Fund sub-projects have
failed due to mismanagement. MPs get Shs10 million annually as CDF.

‘Displaced access land’ (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/16/644331
GULU- A total of 74% of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) can now access their own land to
grow food, a study has shown. The study done by the Concerned Parents‟ Association also revealed
that 15% of the IDPs rent land for cultivation at between sh8,000 and sh10,000 per acre. This is
mainly among those who have left the camps and returned to their villages following the relative
peace now prevailing. The survey, done from March to April, was to assess the displaced peoples‟
access to cultivable land and means of livelihood. It was carried out in the sub-counties of Namukora,
Agoro, Padibe and Mucwini in Kitgum district. The study also showed that the people considered
livestock as a vital source of income after crops. (New Vision)

Eastern Uganda
Museveni begins Teso tour today (Daily Monitor)
http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/regional-
special/Museveni_begins_Teso_tour_today_69803.shtml
President Yoweri Museveni will start his seven-day tour of Teso region today.

In a continuation of an on- spot check of government programmes in the eastern region, Mr Museveni
is expected to make a personal audit of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) in the
region.




                                                                                                        7
“The President is interested in seeing how government programmes have benefited the common
man in the village,” State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru said.

Mr Ecweru, also MP for Amuria said on Tuesday that, the tour is a follow- up of government‟s policy
of ensuring that there are several model farmers in each parish country wide.

The President will begin his tour in Bukedea District. He will also mobilise communities in the region
to embrace government‟s Prosperity For All Programmes in a bid to avert poverty.

In a related development, government officials and NGOs have been banned from holding meetings
during the President‟s visit. Mr Ecweru made the pronouncement after it had emerged that affected
establishments had been holding endless crisis meetings on how to shield their failures from the
President. “Where have they been to hold those meetings? They just want to give the President a
false look of the situation,” Mr Ecweru said.

A survey conducted by Daily Monitor in Amuria and Katakwi districts indicated that contrary to the
Naad‟s mandate of transforming subsistance farming into commercial ventures, there is little to show
for their presence at the grassroots.

One of the farmers in Katakwi, Elias Ajaru, a fish grower confessed that he has never received any
support from Naads.

Health
10 die of typhoid fever in Kasese district (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/644366
TEN people have died following an outbreak of typhoid in the Hima region of Kasese district, a senior
health ministry official said yesterday.

“Our laboratory tests have revealed that the „strange disease‟ was typhoid. In about one month, we
have registered 52 cases and 10 deaths but most of the cases have been treated,” said the official on
condition of anonymity.

“The disease is not new in the area. The new cases flared up within a short time as we were still
investigating. The cases are in one sub-county.”

The official called upon people in the area to wash hands after visiting toilets and boil drinking water.


“The health officials in Kasese are doing everything to contain the outbreak by promoting hygiene. We
are receiving regular updates from them and have also moved in to beef up their efforts,” she said.

Typhoid is contracted by eating contaminated food and drinking unboiled water. The signs are high
fever of between 39°C to 40°C, body weakness, abdominal pains, headache and loss of appetite.

In some cases, patients develop a rash.
The health inspector in-charge of Busongora North zone confirmed that seven people, including a P.3
pupil of Kinyabwamba Primary School in Kitswamba sub-county had been infected by last weekend.

“The disease first appears like malaria. As you continue treating fever, the patient develops diarrhoea,
vomits, eventually seems to recover from malaria but collapses dead abruptly,” said the inspector.

He, however, noted that some patients had recovered from the disease that broke out in July.

“But even those who seem to have recovered from fever are still vomiting and have diarrhoea.”

Local council officials have launched an impromptu sanitation campaign to prevent further spread of
the disease.
The most affected villages are Kinyabwamba, Motomoto and Muzahura, in Kihyo parish, Kitswamba
sub-county.




                                                                                                            8
Initially, some residents panicked, thinking the disease could be the Hepatitis E that has killed 106
people in some areas of northern Uganda.

The disease first struck Kitgum in October 2007, but has since spread to Gulu, Pader and Yumbe
districts.

Cholera kills one in Kibaale (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/18/644318
A new cholera outbreak in Mpeefu sub-county, Kibaale district has claimed one person and left over
19 hospitalised.

The district health officer, Dr. Dan Kyamanywa, said the deceased, who passed a way on Sunday,
was a resident of Kabukanga fishing village.

He said nine people were admitted to Mpeefu Health Centre and were improving steadily.

Kyamanywa explained that Kagadi Hospital had been directed to investigate the outbreak.

He attributed the disease to people‟s laxity to maintain proper sanitary conditions.

Kyamanywa noted that the latrine coverage in villages was low.

He appealed to residents and people crossing from Bundibugyo and the Democratic Republic of
Congo to observe hygiene and avoid eating cold food and sharing unnecessary handshakes.

In May, cholera claimed 16 people and over 182 were hospitalised in Kibaale

Obstetric fistula queues grow longer by the day (Weekly Observer)
http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=762&Itemid=89
Joyce Ingwedo‟s neighbours in Oderai village, Soroti district called her „urine‟ from when she was 17.
This was because of urine incontinence that left her with a bad smell.

Ingwedo had suffered Obstetric Fistula (OF), a condition caused by prolonged labour that led to a
tearing between her vagina and anus.
Luckily, Ingwedo, 45, was among 215 women that were treated in the last three years courtesy of
AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation), which paid $150 (250,000) per patient.
But over 70 other women will have to wait a little longer.

Dr. Fred Kirya, a surgeon met at Soroti Hospital in June during the winding up of the Civil Society
Capacity Building Program (CSCBP) told The Weekly Observer, “Of course it can be reduced greatly
if we have more medical workers and mid-wives deep down in the villages to help in efficient child
delivery.” It is obvious that delay in labour occurs due to inaccessibility to expert medical workers,” he
said.
Every year, Makerere University graduates 120 doctors while Mbarara and Gulu Universities graduate
60 and 50 respectively. Many of these are left floating around while mothers in the rural areas like
Soroti continue to face such consequences as fistula.

Many of the Health Centre IVs in Soroti that are by standard supposed to have surgeons do not have
any. Some residents in Soroti told The Weekly Observer that between June 2007 and July 2008,
many health centre IVs were not functioning to standard.
For starters they were not conducting child deliveries because of the absence of medical personnel.

This left Soroti Hospital to fight it alone with 760 caesarean operations in one year. This means that
women who could not go to Soroti Hospital or even access a midwife at the lowest level were doomed
and likely to suffer fistula.

Clearly as one doctor said, “The conditions set for health practitioners in this country are not good
right from the urban centres. What do you expect in the rural areas then?” As a result, no medical
practitioner is ready to sacrifice to work in remote areas without good lodging, transport, drugs,
medical equipment and a suitable pay.



                                                                                                         9
In addition, medical sensitisation of the communities about the dangers of delay in labour is a way of
preventing the occurrence of fistula.
The Association for Re-orientation and Rehabilitation for Teso Women (TERREWODE) is now
involved in training communities on the dangers of delayed labour. The association benefited from the
European Union‟s 9th European Development Fund of Shs 99 million for 18 months that ended in
June 2008 to carry out civic education on OF and how to prevent it.

During the same CSCBP tour, Martha Ibeno, the Programme Officer of TERREWODE, told The
Weekly Observer that the programme will go a long way in changing the rural women‟s perception of
fistula as many of them have been living in denial or blaming it on witchcraft.

Mary Alyao, 20, has had fistula since she was 17. She says: “All my relatives disserted me. I stay in
an Internally Displaced People‟s camp where I have no friends either. People say they don‟t want me
because of my smell due to the urine that flows uncontrollably. I even go to the well alone, very late
when there is hardly anyone. People don‟t want me to go to the well because they say I will
contaminate their water. I live a very lonely life,” said Alyao.

Treatment like prevention has been a big problem for fistula patients. Kirya said that he repairs over
50 fistula patients per year. But the number of patients keeps growing yet the hospital is limited in
terms of facilities and funds.

According to Ibeno, AMREF used to flow in surgeons to repair fistula twice every year but, “with the
overwhelming number of patients, the surgeons couldn‟t repair all the patients in the queue due to the
little time they spend here,” said Ibeno.
Although the need for surgeons seems to be high, Soroti Hospital has only two. Other hospitals that
have surgeons with this expertise include: Kitovu Hospital in Masaka, Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Arua
Hospital, Kagando Hospital in Kasese and Mulago in Kampala.

Because fistula affects mostly the poor who won‟t afford to pay for the surgeon‟s services, very few
medicine graduates are willing to specialize in treating the problem.
Ibeno said that for fistula to be repaired, a woman has to pay Shs 350,000, which many cannot afford
and therefore live with the problem for long.
Since poverty seems to be the biggest cause of fistula, improving the economic conditions of citizens
might be one of the ways to combat the crisis.
That way, women will be able to visit hospitals and deliver their children under medical supervision.

Uganda to manufacture PMTCT drug to fight Aids (Daily Monitor)
http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/health-and-
living/Uganda_to_manufacture_PMTCT_drug_to_fight_Aids_69794.shtml
Quality Chemicals Limited, a local drug manufacturing company will soon produce drugs that stop
mother-to-child transmission of HIV/Aids during birth and breastfeeding.

The company that will help in the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) of Aids is
expected to start production of the drugs by November this year.

“These drugs will allow HIV/Aids positive mothers to safely breast feed without any worry of infecting
their children,” George Baguma, the company‟s director of marketing said on Tuesday.

Over 25,000 children in Uganda get infected with HIV/Aids from their mothers either at birth or during
breast feeding annually.
Of the estimated 50,000 children eligible for ARVs, only 12,000 have access to Anti retroviral therapy.
Without treatment, most children die before the age of five years.

Baguma said the company will import the latest molecules that are used in the manufacture of
affordable ARVs in order to make the drugs affordable to people in developing countries like Uganda.
“Patients quickly develop resistance to ARVs, that is why we have to import the latest molecules every
time,” he said.




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He was speaking to a group of Uganda permanent secretaries who visited the plant in Luzira near
Kampala on Tuesday. Baguma said that although commercial production of ARVs and anti malarial
drugs begins in November, the production of batches is underway for purposes of acquiring the
necessary marketing licences.

He said the National Drug Authority has licensed the plant to start production. However, they are
awaiting licenses from the World Health Organisation and the United States Food and Drug Authority.

Baguma said the company will produce triple therapy combination ARVs that will enable patients
swallow one tablet per day to reduce on the burden of one swallowing several tablets per day. “That
burden is the leading cause of patients to abandon treatment,” he said.

Education
Education gets 120b to repair top schools (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/644362
THE Ministry of Education has received a $70m grant (about sh120b) from the African Development
Bank (ADB) to renovate government-aided secondary schools.

Under the programme, classrooms and dormitories will be renovated, while laboratories and libraries
will be equipped.

The bank also approved the expansion of 15 seed secondary schools and the construction of 12
others.
Seed schools are institutions built in sub-counties which do not have secondary schools.

The pilot scheme, which will cover 42 schools that have not been repaired for over 30 years, is aimed
at improving their capacity and performance.

The schools to be renovated include Nabisunsa Girls, Makerere College, Gombe Secondary School,
Busoga College Mwiri, Mbarara High School, Bweranyangi Girls, Nabumali High School, St. Joseph‟s
College Layibi, St. Peter‟s College Tororo, Masaka Secondary School, Teso College Aloet and St.
Leo‟s Kyegobe.

New seed schools will be built in Arua, Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Kyenjojo, Amuru, Pader, Kumi, Rakai,
Tororo, Yumbe, Nakaseke and Bududa districts.

The project, which is co-funded by the Government, targets some of the top schools in the country
whose facilities are strained by the increased number of students. There are over 780 government-
owned and aided schools.

A Ministry of Education official said about 10 schools had been selected from each of the four regions
to benefit from the project.

Higher education state minister Gabriel Opio said beneficiries were chosen basing on regional,
religious and gender factors.

He noted that the project would help to facilitate schools in the countryside to compete favorably with
other schools in the central and urban areas.

According to the appraisal report of the ADB education projects in Uganda, the pace at which
programmes were being implemented had grown from 30% to 42% over the last five months.

The bank recommended that the Government should refund sh7.8b value added tax deductions to the
contractors and also exempt community projects from the levy.

Government to build teachers' houses (New Vision)
http://newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/644360
THE Government is to construct and rehabilitate 4,215 teachers‟ houses in 40 districts in the north,
education Namirembe Bitamazire told Parliament yesterday.




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Sh126.45b, Bitamazire added, had been budgeted for the construction of 2,705 houses and sh40.56b
for the rehabilitation of the other 1,510.

The project, she said, would be undertaken over five years under the Peace, Recovery and
Development Plan.
This financial year, she said, her ministry had allocated over sh7b for the construction of classrooms
and teachers‟ houses in the north.

The districts to benefit are Apac, Koboko, Maracha-Terego and Pader, which will take the lion‟s share
of sh611.5m each followed by Arua, Gulu, Oyam and Yumbe, with each getting sh489.2m. Others are
Abim, Adjumani, Amuru, Dokolo, Kaabong, Kitgum, Kotido, Lira and Nebbi districts.

Bitamazire made the announcement while responding to questions raised by MPs concerning the
education sector during the debate of the budget. The MPs wanted answers over questions of
education in the north, the high dropout rate in primary school and the plight of teachers.

Bitamazire noted that over sh584.76b was needed to provide classrooms, teachers‟ houses, latrines
and furniture for students in primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions.

Instructional materials, she said, required about sh11b, water sh25b and sh15b to provide solar power
to about 1,500 institutions.

Bitamazire added that the region lacked 19,076 primary teachers. She said the Royal Netherlands
embassy had pledged Euros 10m (sh24b) to provide the critical needs and for school monitoring. The
lack of monitoring has been blamed for poor conditions in schools.

Bitamazire said the ministry had put in place a “quality enhancement initiative” for the 12 worst
performing districts.

She noted that 10 of them namely Amuru, Oyam, Bududa, Bukedea, Lyantonde, Mubende, Kyenjojo,
Bulisa, Nakapiripirit and Kaabong would be given money to build teachers‟ houses.
Talking about the Universal Secondary Education, Bitamazire said plans were underway to review the
school curriculum to ensure quality and efficiency.

She noted the need for the Government to implement the students‟ loan and scholarship schemes to
enable poor students get university education.

Displaced schools in classroom crisis (Daily Monitor)
http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/regional-
special/Displaced_schools_in_classroom_crisis_69810.shtml
Schools that have returned to their original sites lack classrooms and teaching staff, the senior
inspector of schools, Mr Robinson Oboth, has said.

Mr Oboth told Daily Monitor on Monday that the two decade war displaced 64 primary and secondary
schools. “As these schools return, there are no classroom blocks and lack of teaching staff is also
affecting them,” he said.

Out of the 64 schools that were displaced, six have not yet returned to their original sites because
they lack classes and other facilities.
“In most of the schools, classes are combined, primary one and two, three and four, as a result of
having no teaching staff and rooms,” he said.

“Wachienge Primary School in Odeke subcounty has two teachers while Omore Hills Primary School
in Patiko Sub county is some times closed because the teachers do not turn up sometimes,” he said.
Onono Secondary School in Odek subcounty is understaffed and has never returned to its original
site.

Apart from inadequate infrastructure, Mr Oboth said the wartorn areas do not consider girlchild
education at all. “Girls in most cases are looked at as wealth, and with this biting poverty in the region,
parents tend to marry their daughters off at an early age,” he added.



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Mr Oboth said this holiday 300 teachers will be trained on how they can improve on girls education.
“Girls need to be handled in a way that can make them stay in schools,” he said.

The Police Public Relations Officer for Northern Uganda, Mr Johnson Kilama, said in order to ensure
girls are educated, follow ups should be made by the headteachers themselves.

“Headteachers should know why such pupils have dropped out of school and write reports,” he said,
adding that teachers should write reports so that the district can make follow ups.




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