Kalangala residents express angry reactions over the 2011/2012 National Budget. Several say it does not address core issues affecting their unique problems.
Many people in Kalangala are not happy about the 2011/2012 Budget projections delivered on Wednesday.
While Minister Kiwanuka presented a Ush 8 trillion National budget at Serena International Conference center, several people in and around Kalangala Town council were either listening to Bukedde Fm radio or watching the budget reading live on NTV.
Many were visibly eager to hear what government was going to bring for them.
The finance minister said priority for the 2011/2012 National budget estimated worth Ush8 trillion will be given to health, education, roads, and energy sector in the next financial year. But several residents in Kalangala say, the budget does not specifically focus on the core issues affecting the people of Kalangala.
Dr. Hillary Bitakalamire, the Kalangala District medical officer, says Kalangala needed special funds to address the difficulties the health workers in Kalangala go through. Dr. Bitakalamire says they expected the national budget to give Kalangala district special hardship allowances to address the shortage of health workers in the district.
According to Dr. Bitakalamire, with just 64million shillings given to Kalangala every year, the district expected government to triple this year’s budget to about 200millin shillings to attract health workers to work to Kalangala. He explains that currently, Kalangala has just one medical doctor who can hardly attend to all emergencies.
Bitakalamire claims that due to lack of hardship allowances and poor salaries, two fully furnished operation theaters are currently redundant with no surgeons to attend to emergencies because medical workers have refused to take up the four available vacancies. He accuses Budget planners of failing to plan for Kalangala as a district with unique difficulties.
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Sheikh Diriisa Mayanja, the Kalangala district Kadhi, says he is not happy with 2011/2012 national budget because it didnt adress the issues affecting the people of Kalangala. Sheikh Mayanja, who watched the finance Minister deliver the budget says he expected government to announce the procurement of a new ferry and ship this financial year to address the transport difficulties in Kalangala.
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Samuel Katumba, a resident from Bufumira Sub County, says the budget will have no impact on the livelihoods of Kalangala fishermen because it has not addressed mechanism to stem illegal fishing. Katumba claims that several fishermen have been rendered jobless because of low fish catches in L. Victoria.
Katumba says he expected government to announce a total ban of fishing on L. Victoria for at least six months to pave way for replenishing the fish stocks.
Several other residents in Kalangala say they failed to follow the budget because they do not understand some English words used by the minister.
Kalangala district has 82 inhabited islands but because of its peculiarity in regards to trasnport, many mothers die giving birth because they cannot access health centers.
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kalangala reacts angrily
health service delivery