Residents Task District Officials to Explain Poor Service Delivery

2593 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
The residents doubted the expenditures presented by district authorities stating that despite the allocations, major roads in the area were still impassable. They tasked the departmental heads from the education, works, production and health sectors to explain why services are not efficiently rendered to the community.

Residents of Kitoba Sub County in Hoima district have put their leaders to task, to explain the reason for the poor service delivery in the area.

The task came after Hoima District Planner John Williams Byakagaba presented a report indicating that the district spent 26.8 billion Shillings for the financial Year ending 2016/17. In the breakdown, he said that the district estimated 1.6 billion Shillings from locally generated revenue, 22 billion Shilling as central government transfers, and 660 million Shillings from donor funds.

Byakagaba said that during the year, 330 million Shillings was spent on people's welfare, 509 million Shillings on finance, 750 million Shillings on statutory bodies, 690 million Shillings on production and marketing and 4 billion Shillings on the health department.

He added that the education department was allocated 12.5 billion Shillings; the roads sector spent 1.2 billion Shillings, 930 million Shillings was spent on agriculture and 270 million Shillings on natural resources, among others.  He said the budget had been fully implemented based on allocations to each sector.

But the residents doubted the expenditures stating that despite the allocations, major roads in the area were still impassable. They cited Kiseke-Birungu-Kitesukura and Buhamba-Bombo roads where culverts were never fixed on some bridges describing the works as shoddy.

The residents also decried poor service delivery in the water and sanitation sector, education, works, production and health, and tasked the departmental heads to explain why services are not efficiently rendered to the community.

They were speaking during a Baraza Forum organized by the Office of the Prime Minister at Buhamba Primary school playground on Tuesday evening.

Evelyn Kaganzi, a resident of Buhamba village wants the government to construct spring wells at Kagera, Katugo, Kyakasenyi and Kyamolisi villages adding that they trek long distances to access the few available water sources that, which are also shared with animals.

The residents also queried the criteria used by Operation Wealth Creation in selecting beneficiaries of the project and why the supply chain for agricultural inputs does not follow the planting season.

The reported absence of mama kits for expectant mothers and medicines in health facilities was also a cause of concern among women. They said that it's disheartening to learn that tonnes of medicines are destroyed every year and others returned to national Medical Stores upon expiry, yet, patients are told there are no drugs in medical facilities.

Hoima District Health Officer Dr Joseph Ruyonga said he would investigate the issue of the missing Mama kits adding that he knew that they are always available in the health facilities. He blamed the shortfalls in the health sector on staff shortage.
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Kitoba Sub County Chief Solomon Kahuma told the forum that some of the groups that had registered to benefit from the youth livelihood project declined to take up the money prompting them to return the money to the revolving funds as recovery.
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However, there was no one to answer queries raised about the poor state of roads in the district. Bunyoro Affairs Minister Ernest Kiiza directed the Hoima Resident District Commissioner John Stephen Ekoom to submit a report explaining why the District Engineer Julius Ssentamu, did not attend the meeting.
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Bugahya County Member of Parliament Pius Wakabi said Ssentamu must be investigated for the poor state of roads in the district.
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Hoima RDC John Stephen Ekoom said that persons who are failing government programmes must be investigated with immediate effect. He added that by dodging the Baraza Forum, Sentamu deliberately avoided providing accountability to the public.
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