Leaders from northern Uganda Deliberate on Service Delivery in the Region

On 2nd June 2016, Leaders from Northern Uganda warned that Uganda’s future is blurred if the Government does not invest in improving the quality of service delivery in the region especially the health and education sectors. The warning was made at Sheraton Hotel during a National Dialogue on the state of service delivery in Northern Uganda under the theme; Walk the talk, make quality service delivery a reality in Northern Uganda.

The meeting was attended by Members of Parliament, Resident District Commissioners, District L.C5 Chair-persons and technocrats from Northern Uganda. Also in the house were Hon Rebecca Othengo, the Minister of State for Northern Uganda and Hon Christine Amongin, the Minister of State for Teso. Hon Tarsis Kabwegere, the Minister in charge of General Duties in the Prime Minister’s Office presided over the dialogue.

In her Opening remarks, the Ag-Country Director of ActionAid, Christine Aboke called upon the participants to commit to do more and better the situation for the people in Northern Uganda with ambition and courage. “If we harness our collective strength as religious leaders, cultural leaders, as government from the centre and from the district, as civil society, as development partners and as eminent people, we can make this meeting count”, she said, before declaring the dialogue opened.

During the meeting, the land conflicts in Northern Uganda were discussed at length. Lyandra Komakech, the Gulu Municipality Member of Parliament appealed to the Government to peacefully engage with the locals before leasing out any land to the investors and this should be done in a fair, just and transparent way instead of grabbing the land leading to endless conflicts.

Two representatives from Northern Uganda delivered a communiqué to the three Ministers. The document highlighted specific challenges on social service delivery in Northern Uganda and the key recommendations to make the situation better as computed during the regional dialogues. The communiqué among others recommends that all government officials that have been implicated in corruption scandals should not be allowed to be part of the implementation of PRDP3. The document also highlighted the poor state of Education standards in the region as manifested by the high illiteracy rates and the poor performance of the region in National Examinations. The communiqué cited Nwoya District that has over 27 community schools that the Government has failed to support. It recommended that with in PRDP3, the local Governments should be allocated a special fund to improve the education standards to redeem the future of Northern Uganda.

 

While receiving the communiqué, Hon Tarsis Kabwegere thanked ActionAid for supporting the people of Northern Uganda to speak out against the injustices highlighted in the document. He called upon every one present to put their eyes and ears on ground to monitor what government and other duty bearers are doing and report any substandard services to the respective authorities in time. “Each of us is responsible for walking the talk. It’s not just Government. Let us all play our part for our brothers and sisters in Northern Uganda”, he said.

In her closing remarks, the Chairperson of the Action Aid Governing Board; Dr Consolata Kabonesa thanked participants for their dedication to the dialogue and challenged them to walk the talk. “As you know, the aspirations of the of the people in Northern and North Eastern Uganda will not be delivered from Sheraton. They will be delivered in the geographical locations where the people are. They will not be delivered by promises, but by actions. That is what walking the talk means! That we shall translate all our promises to actions and the right actions at the right places” she appealed before officially closing the dialogue.

The dialogue was organised by ActionAid Uganda with funding from the Democratic Governance Facility.