Serere District Workers Struggle With Limited Office Space

2705 Views Serere, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
When Uganda Radio Network visited the offices in Serere, we found that employees had been forced to arrange their seats like they are in a magistrate’s court waiting for court session. Other employees that include Education department occupy a corridor as an office due to lack of office space while between 6 to 8 staff struggle for cubicles.

Employees of Serere district local Government have complained of working in over crowded offices.
 
When Uganda Radio Network visited the offices in Serere, we found that employees had been forced to arrange their seats like they are in a magistrate’s court waiting for court session.
 
Other employees that include Education department occupy a corridor as an office due to lack of office space while between 6 to 8 staff struggle for cubicles.
 
The worst hit departments are education, natural resources, finance department, planning unit, community based and works department.
 
In Education the Sports officer, District Inspector of Schools, District Education Officer, the secretary, office attendant, interns and another employee with USAID occupy the corridor as office.
 
The Natural Resources officials share one small office space that houses the Production Officer, Fisheries officer, Environment officer, Commercial officer and two agricultural officers.
 
Finance Department all the accountants in the district, Chief Finance Officer, Cashier, secretary, office attendant and intern students.
 
In the Planning Unit houses the district planner, population officer, NUSAF II engineer, and secretary and office attendant sit in a tiny cubicle.
 
The works department has the district engineer, district water officer, two district roads officers, two water supervisors, two district road overseers, the secretary and office attendant equally 3x3 meters width long room.
 
The Community based department houses the probation officer, community development officer, Assistant community development officer, Labour officer, Secretary and office attendant.
 
Meanwhile the District Chairperson shares one office with his Vice Chairman.
 
Interestingly in most offices there are no free seats reserved for visitors as the officers themselves even lack space and when one wishes to exit, the others have to stand up to create room.
 
URN also learned that another issue is lack of privacy. It is not possible to divulge highly sensitive information to an official in this office. 
 
Jospeh Opit Okojo the District Chairperson Serere told URN that the issue of office space in Serere district is a big a challenge.
 
Opit is optimistic that by mid January 2014 the problem of lack of office accommodation will be solved when the new office building gets completed.
 
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Ismael Ochengel, the acting Chief Administrative Officer Serere, told URN in an interview that there is limited office space for the technical officers.
 
Ochengel hinted that acute space has forced other officials to turn corridors into offices.
 
He added that in engineering department over six officers squeeze in a small room.
 
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An employee who declined to be named told URN that they are suffering because the offices are very small and they have the same office with the secretaries, office attendants and interns.
 
Serere District is a district in Eastern Uganda that was carved out of Soroti district and borders Ngora district from the east, Kaberamaido district in the West, Pallisa district and Buyende district in the south.
 
The district headquarters at Serere is located approximately 35 kilometers south of Soroti.
 
Serere District was created by Act of Parliament and became functional effective 1 July 2010.

 

About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.