With age and time, you can see how a government returns with same empty promises and pledges. It is like President Yoweri Kaguta Musveni and his allies comes every time after a disaster. However, they are not planning to do anything. They are talking of making differences, that is why they had made a District Development Plan in April 2011. Where the district planned both tree-planting and building the road, which was promised the year before. Also, in National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management in 2010, which stated who had responsibilities concerning landslide. Therefore, the state has worked on plans and securing the area, but they have not acted upon it.
Today, I am just compiling a few promises over the years to the district, to prove the lack of act and lack of following up on promises. If this was a district the government cared about, they would have acknowledge the dangers and the landslides. As the death-toll is happening nearly yearly after the rainfall and the knowledge of this common. It is not like this is new problem. The state could have built the roads and could have ensured the earth erosion wouldn’t worsen, but never cared for doing so. Therefore, I have listed the promises since 2010 until today.
Promised a road in 2010:
“President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed for the immediate construction of a road leading up to Nametsi village in Bududa, the scene of the landslide disaster which claimed more than 300 people last week. The Lack of access roads to Nametsi village has severely affected the rescue efforts as earth moving equipments can not be transported to the disaster scene. The village which is located on Mt. Elgon can only be reached on foot as vehicles stop more than ten kilometers away” (Joseph Elunya – ‘President Museveni Orders for Construction of Road to Landslide Scene in Bududa’ 08.03.2010, link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/president-museveni-orders-for-construction-of-road-to-landslide-scene-in-bududa).
Presidential Directive in 2012:
“The directive by President Yoweri Museveni to have survivors of Monday’s landslides in Bududa district relocated to other places within the country has drawn mixed reactions among the locals in the area. President Museveni through a message by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, on Wednesday directed that all those living in high risk slopes of Mount Elgon should be unconditionally relocated. The President suggested that the government could also construct urban settlements within the district to have them settled there. The directive followed the June 25 landslides that buried at least two villages in Bulucheke Sub County, Bududa district. It is still not clear how many people have died, with government putting the figure at about 18 while local leaders saying the dead could be over 100. Some of the survivors welcome the idea of having urban centers constructed within the district, but many equally say they would not move to any place outside Bududa” (Michael Wambi – ‘Mixed Reactions to Museveni’s Bududa Directive’ 29.07.2012, link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=43316).
Promise of a road in 2015:
“The President announced that the road from Magodesi to Lwakhakha will be tarmac and adding that the work is slated to begin in February 2016. He also said that Manafwa road will be extended to Bududa but called for patience as the government implements these projects in phases according to the availability of financial resources. “Money is not like the sun. We do government work step by step because not all programmes can be undertaken at the same time,” he explained” (Uganda Media Centre – ‘“Mass Industrialization to Solve Youth Unemployment”- President Museveni’ 27.08.2015, link: http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/press-release/%E2%80%9Cmass-industrialization-solve-youth-unemployment%E2%80%9D-president-museveni).
Promise of a road in 2017:
““There are very many stones on this mountain waiting to kill you people, but instead of these stones being a problem, we are going to blast them to make good tarmac roads,” he said, adding that government has also for funds to tarmac the Mbale-Sironko road” (…) “In September, this year, at least 10 people were reportedly buried alive after the mudslide occurred in Sironko and several houses were also left buried in Bududa district” (Max Patrick Ocaido – ‘President Museveni Visits Landslide Victims’ 22.11.2017, link: https://kampalapost.com/content/news/president-museveni-visits-landslide-victims).
“On government’s behalf I apologize for the delayed resettlement of those living in landslide-prone areas to safer places, and commit that this process will be fast-tracked to avoid any further casualities. I was let down by my people. I apologize on their behalf. A plan was made and the people had agreed to move but it seems there was lack of coordination in government. I apologise for this, we are now going to move very fast” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 14.10.2018).
We can really see how the President promises and doesn’t keep them. That is why the Bududa District Plan of 2010 wasn’t even followed, neither the National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management of 2011, both wasn’t followed. That shows the contempt of the district and their needs.
That is why it is special that the President comes with the same promise after a landslide in 2018, as he did in 2012 and until last year he promised a road to help out the area. Clearly, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are not prioritizing the needs or the costs of lives that is happening here. As it is happening yearly and still the state doesn’t act upon it.
That is time to stop and actually follow up on the pledges, the promises and the needs of the District. That he also have visited several times of AK 47 and military fatigue, shows how he acts concerning the pains of the citizens. He didn’t do that today, but has done that in the past.
When, he promise quick progress and apologize for lateness, that is at least 6 years ago since he written a directive on relocation that the state haven’t been able to follow upon or allocate the funds. Peace.
There has been a real tragedy again befallen on the Mount Elgon Region, as the Budabuda District was hit with another landslide. This is a district that is known for this and has had fatal landslides in the past, as the rain of October and November can create landslide in the eroded land and in the slopes of the hills, where people reside and have their small farms. Therefore, this isn’t a new problem. There are reports on the matter, but still this week was hit with it again and new losses of lives. Which is such a tragedy. In 2010, there was estimated 100 dead in Namesti Village in the district. By today, in the district the Red Cross says the number of dead is up to 42. All of which is a lot, as there are supposed to be safeguards and warning systems, also funds to secure help as the disaster happens.
After the last big landslide, the district MP Olive Wonekha wrote this: “Putting a system in place to cater for all the emergencies has not been easy. The Government of Uganda together with many well-wishers including the Red Cross Society which is at the forefront of the humanitarian aid, Development Partners are grappling with the medium and long-term solution to the issue” (AAH Uganda, 02.04.2010).
As we have sadly seen from this week, that haven’t really been put in place and in order. As the government nor the stakeholders has taken charge, as they all know this. What is special is that the Bududa District even made a Development Plan in April 2011, which stated this:
“Factors responsible for this phenomenon include; Human activities (steep slope cultivation, cultivation on river banks, deforestation) and excessive rains” (Bududa District – ‘Five-Year District Development Plan’ 27.04.2011). In the same plan, they have a plan for adding more forest and trees in slopes to stop erosion in the soil, we can wonder if they ever got the one road they needed and the seedlings to do so. That they could do one thing to secure the slopes and hills. As the rain pour is steady and known about in the region.
We understand why the Local Government and District has little say in the matter of disaster, as the Office of Prime Minister says they are number 12 on the list of responsible in 2010, but a technical note from 2015, says it is local government who is legal obligation. Its not strange, that their will confusion and uncertainty who has the final say and who should step into action.
OPM report on ‘THE NATIONAL POLICY FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MANAGEMENT’ from 2010 states: “Community settlement on steep slopes and other uncontrolled land use practices increase the likelihood of landslides and mudslides prevalence. The areas mostly affected by Landslides are Mt. Elgon region, Ruwenzori region and Kigezi”. Than later it says who is the responsible institutions: “i. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) (lead Institution)
ii. Ministry of Water and Environment
iii. Department of Geological and Mine Survey
iv. National Forest Authority (NFA)
v. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)
vi. Makerere University, Geography Dept.
vii. Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
viii. Ministry of Lands and Housing and Urban Development
ix. Ministry of Local Government
x. Ministry of Works and Transport
xi. Office of the Prime Minister – Department of Disaster Preparedness and Management
xii. District Local Governments
xiii. NARO and other Research Institutions
xiv. Community and Private Sector
xv. Ministry of Defence and other Rescue Agencies
xvi. UN Agencies and NGOs
xvii. Ministry of Health” (OPM – ‘THE NATIONAL POLICY FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MANAGEMENT’ 2010).
A technical report commissioned by the UNDP on behalf of the Office of the Prime Minister in August 2015 states this about landslides: “Herewith each district environment committee is responsible to take necessary measures to minimise the risk of environmental degradation of riverbanks and shores. Similarly section 38 highlights the identification of hilly and mountainous areas and also places a legal obligation on local government for the assessment of such areas in terms of environmental degradation. In light of the significant landslide risk within Uganda, this element should go along way in addressing landslide risk” (OPM – ‘Governance of disaster risk reduction and management in Uganda: A literature review’ 2015).
What I have been looking into is what the reports of old is saying. Not looking into the issue of Contingency Fund, but showing a final Press Statement from CSBAG to show the lack of care from the government concerning this:
“We want to applaud government’s proposal of allocating UGX 77bn to the contingency fund; this being the first time the provision of the PFMA of constituting a contingency fund is being implemented. However, the proposed allocation is below the 0.5% of the previous financial year’s budget as provided by Section 26 of the PMFA 2015 as amended, we pray that an additional UGX 66 bn be provided to fully implement the provision of the PFMA. We demand that Government respects the percentage towards Disaster response and management as required by the law under the Contingency Fund” (CSBAG – ‘UGANDA IS NOT FLOOD RESISTANT… IT’S TIME TO ACT’ 26.03.2018).
When we see it like this, the state is clearly not managing the disaster response or the funds for possibly coping with it. As the landslide this week is showing, is that the government of Uganda isn’t prepared and their citizens are paying. As well, as the local government doesn’t have the funds or ability to ensure their own 5 year development plan. Which was made a year after the biggest landslide in the recent decade. Therefore, the state knows about this, but still doesn’t act upon it.
We have to question the OPM and the other government institutions, not only the Local Government who hasn’t acted, but they might lack the budget and the expertise, that all the other responsible institutions in this manner.
What is sad is the loss of lives and the knowledge of plans and lack of inadequate funds… which could have saved lives and ensured a better disaster response. Something everyone deserves, as the government knows this region is hit with this, as the rains of September and October can make the land erosion. Therefore, time to push for the government to really act, so next time there be less loss of life and more action to ones in need when it do happen. Peace.
Today I am dropping numbers that are devastating, as the numbers of debt that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) isn’t paying, show’s sufficient motives for malpractice when it comes to budgeting and the structure of payments. There are certainly not enough transparency and clear audit of the state reserves, as the State is misusing seriously amount of funds. The NRM Regime and their President should be ashamed by their record.
Emmanuel Katongole is the Head Information Technology in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in Uganda on the 12th April 2017, he dropped a document on their web-page that show’s the domestic arrears of the Republic of Uganda in the last Financial Year.
If you wonder what Domestic Arrears means: “The amount by which a government has fallen behind in its payment of interest and principal on debt to lenders within its own country” (Encyclo.co.uk). So Katongole will literately show how bad the National Resistance Movement is on paying their bills and expenditure. All the sums of this report is in Ugandan Shillings (UGX).
Like under the Office of the President and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) who itself leaves arrears in the margin of 3.8bn shillings and 8bn shillings in other payable arrears. That one part of the budget and current audit of the Office of the President as the total of verified arrears at June 2016 was 37bn shillings alone. So the Office of the President owes a lot of funds that it hasn’t paid, not only for the ISO!
The State House by the verified arrears at June 2016 was 1bn shillings. What is more unsettling is that the Pensions and Gratitude for Veterans are the sum of 183bn shillings, Survivors 315bn shillings, EXGRATIA 10bn and UNLA 26bn shillings. The Ministry of Defense by June 2016 verified arrears was 718bn shillings! So the MoD are a lax payer of their expenses and expenditure.
Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs owes verified arrears by June 2016 the amount of 684bn. Shillings Court Awards unpaid by the Ministry is 203bn shillings. The Electoral Commission has growing verified arrears by June 2016 because of Unsettled penal insterest for URA in the total sum of 3.2bn shillings. Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has by June 2016 billed up verified arrears by 283bn shillings.
This is just some of the government that has not paid their dues and their expenses, their salaries or pensions, even their lacking covering of funds to pay debt, either internal or external. So the National Resistance Movement are clearly running an economy and fiscal policy that isn’t healthy for the republic.
Just to drop the total sum that the Government of Uganda has failed to pay or failed payments on their debt are by June 2016 the total of 2.7 Trillions of Uganda Shillings! Which is an insane number and amount of misspent monies by the state. The strategy by the Republic to fail so miserably cannot be sustainable, as the invoices and the target to pay their debt should be the most important. Still, the NRM doesn’t seem to think so. They are surely missing steps to having a sound economy when the verified arrears are hitting 2.7 trillions by June 2016. So the Financial Year of 2015/2016, the Ugandan government failed to serve out over 2 trillion of their needed expenses!
What is troubling that the year before, the total state had not paid on their debt and failing expenses in the Financial Year of 2014/2015 as by June 2015 we’re totally 1.389 or close to 1.4 Trillion shillings. So the miss-match between FY2014/2015 and FY 2015/2016 are 1.3 Trillion shillings. So the clear picture is that the Election Year for the NRM is very, very expensive.
Just think about that… eat the bill and pound on the amount of lost monies in the system. Peace.
The report acknowledges that a partnership with Bidco “could adversely damage UNDP’s reputation and the communities it seeks to help”
KAMPALA, Uganda, November 22, 2016 – Embattled Ugandan farmers fighting threats and land grabbing by Bidco have praised a draft report by U.N. investigators that calls into question the company’s business practices.
The report is the result of a complaint by the Bugala Farmers Association to the U.N.’s Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU).
The report can be found on the following link: APO.af/cWkh3e
In the complaint, the farmers stated that the United Nations had not performed sufficient due diligence on Bidco before inviting it to join Business Call to Action, which is part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The farmers provided evidence that Bidco has engaged in human rights, labour and environmental violations in the Kalangala District of Bugala Island, Lake Victoria, Uganda, where Bidco has grabbed land from smallholder farmers and cut down over 18,000 acres of rainforest to make way for a large-scale palm oil business.
The U.N. investigators found fault with the decision to invite Bidco into partnership with UNDP: “After the fieldwork and additional research, SECU concluded that the processes employed by UNDP for admission of Bidco were not consistent with UNDP policies.”
The report acknowledges that a partnership with Bidco “could adversely damage UNDP’s reputation and the communities it seeks to help”, and Bidco’s activities “may be considered risky”.
Kenya-based Bidco has tried to distance itself from the allegations of land grabbing and environmental destruction in Uganda, but the UNDP investigators found there is a clear link between the company’s corporate structure, overseen by CEO Vimal Shah, and operations in Uganda.
The investigators also determined that Bidco’s claim of not being involved in land acquisition in Uganda is not accurate. Bidco “knew of, relied on, and encouraged the purchase (of land) by the government.” Bidco Uganda also was “engaged in decisions and discussions related to the purchase,” the report says.
John Muyisa, a representative of the Bugala Farmers Association, commended the work of the U.N. investigators, who visited remote Kalangala District as part of their research.
“We are very pleased that the United Nations has performed an objective evaluation of its internal processes and determined that it is risky to partner with Bidco. The United Nations is a globally admired organisation, and it is absolutely correct that, as the report says, ‘Communities should be empowered’ and not be trodden upon by predator corporations like Bidco.”
In light of the report’s findings, the Bugala Farmers Association has called on the United Nations to terminate its partnership with Bidco.
Any member of the public can comment on the U.N. draft report until 7 December. The report can be found on the following link: APO.af/cWkh3e
We can see today how the Kibaale district has turned up for the FDC Convoy and the Presidential Candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye, in high numbers and great spirit. This here is campaign rallies and proving the progress of the campaign where the local public shows trust to him and therefore rallies behind without asking questions.
Dr. Kizza Besigye has visited Kizayo internally displaced people’s camp in Kiziranfumbi sub-county in Hoima district. Over 200 people were forcefully evicted february last 2015; one business man Kimera Robert using police. People displayed tear gass cansters which police used to forcefully evict them from the land they have been occupying for 20 years. The Evictee told Besigye that they took the matter to court and court put injuction on eviction which Kimera never heeded to.
Dust repellent! ‘Rtd. Col. Dr Besigye Welcome to the world of dust Kibaale District’ reads the special T-shirt designed for Dr. Kizza Besigye by supporters in Kibaale District. Kibaale District residents do not know how it feels to have their taxes translate into tarmac as they do not have even an inch of tarmac! #WesigeBesigye
Dr. Kizza Besigye’s Message after the rallies today:
“Today we continued with Hoima and we rallied part of Kibaale we are thankful for the hospitality extended to us. Support is massive, it is our duty to protect it using our P10 structures. I call upon all our supporters and Ugandans who want change to continue building the Power 10 structures, this is our mobilization structure to protect our votes and make sure they are counted and in the end count. This is what we have to do in order for us to achieve equal opportunities and shared prosperity for the change we all deserve”. #Wesige Besigye
This here proves yet again how the campaign goes for the presidential FDC candidate and people are really behind him, he doesn’t ferry this people to the rallies and they show up on their merry. So let’s be positive about it 25 days to go, and the momentum is rising for Dr. Kizza Besigye.
Some Governance news form the district during recent years:
Here is a quick brief on governmental issues in Kibaale District like on Forrest Reserves and Schooling, as the government should have addressed already, since they have been in power for so many years.
In 2013 and on schools in the district:
“One government aided schools in Kibaale District are conducting lessons under trees due to acute shortage of classroom blocks as the pupils enrollment shoots up. The need for provision of enough classroom blocks has been witnessed one week after the commencement of second term of academic year 2013 in different government aided primary schools” (104.1 Power FM, 03.06.2013).
On the 10th of August 2015:
“Ruzaire forest reserve in Kibaale district remains a shadow of its former thickness, following increased encroachment by residents, who have up to now defied the 31st July deadline by the National Forest Authority to vacate” (…)”NFA backed by the UPDF and Police on Friday reigned on errant residents, who continue making fresh clearing for another farming season instead of harvesting their produce as agreed. Our reporter was on location as NFA enforced an eviction in which many were arrested from Kabamba Sub County in Kibaale and taken to Kagadi Police” (WBS TV, 10.08.2015).
More on Forrest Reserves:
“Judicial and security authorities in Kibaale District have teamed up with civil society organisations to step up efforts to protect natural resources in the area” (Radio Ankole 99,3 FM, 21.09.2015).
On Cholera outbreak in Kibaale District:
“Medical officials in Kibaale District have registered more than 90 cholera cases, the district health officer, Dr Dan Kyamanywa, has said. The cholera epidemic was confirmed on November 9 and six patients have since died” (89.9 Spice FM Hoima, 07.09.2015).
Message on the 13th January 2016:
“This school need support any Person or Organization, Corporation, Charities, Christian Organization to Donate towards the construction of this Orphans school in Uganda, Kibaale District, the Plan and BOQs you can see by your self. Also the Dormitory Plan and BOQ is on. Thank you in advance” (Kibaale RURAL Development Foundation, 13.01.2016).
That is enough for today. Peace.