Island Districts Push for Independent Ministry

1917 Views Kalangala, Uganda

In short
Kalangala District Chairman Willy Lugoloobi cited the regions of Bunyoro, Teso, Karamoja, Luweero and Northern Uganda that have ministerial dockets in the current cabinet, saying the islands similarly have unique problems that require special attention from government

Political leaders from the island districts of Buvuma, Kalangala, Mukono and Namayingo are pushing for an independent ministry to cater for challenges faced by their areas.

The leaders, steered by the Kalangala district chairperson Willy Lugoloobi, Buvuma County MP Robert Migadde and Namayingo district chairperson Ronald Sanya, say that the areas need affirmative action to develop.

"If island areas are to succeed, we must conquer the idea of having a ministry or independent authority that advocates for the rights of all island districts" Lugoloobi said.

He cited the regions of Bunyoro, Teso, Karamoja, Luweero and Northern Uganda that have ministerial dockets in the current cabinet, saying the islands similarly have unique problems that require special attention from government.

The leaders argue that their areas have lagged behind in terms of development because they do not have a force in cabinet to lobby for better services.

Buvuma district has 54 Islands widely spread but only one ferry that connects the main Island to the Kiyindi landing site, in Buikwe district, Buvuma County MP Robert Migadde says. "The rest of the islands are not connected and so have no means of connectivity. Where else on the main land are districts with only one road," Migadde asked.

Kyamuswa County Member of Parliament Carol Nanyondo Birungi told journalists in an interview that with a designated portfolio, residents can easily keep track of the progress in the development of the Islands and implementation of government programs designated for the islands.

"We do not just want to create jobs for people but we need an institutional mechanism for identification, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of issues affecting the islands." she said.

Namayingo district chairperson Ronald Sanya said that the current dockets cannot handle the unique needs of the islands. 

"Fuel that takes me to one Island within the district is enough to take a government official from Kampala to Karamoja and government cannot plan for us with enough resources since that cannot be understood, the demand for an independent Ministry is therefore relevant."

Uganda has a total of 17 districts with Island areas and communities.