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Editor"s comment: Do not politicise ‘bulungi bwansi’

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th July 2008 03:00 AM

Communities across the country are suffering with so many social problems. For example, some households do not have pit-latrines and many families, including those with huge pieces of land, are dying of hunger.

Communities across the country are suffering with so many social problems. For example, some households do not have pit-latrines and many families, including those with huge pieces of land, are dying of hunger. The village wells, which used to be maintained by the communities, have dried up, and grass has covered the village paths whose maintenance depended on the community. All these problems are a result of the collapse of community work (bulungi bwansi).

In the 1950s and 1960s, Ugandans took community work as a duty. Led by sub-county and parish chiefs, the villages had specific days for doing community work every month. The leaders would mobilise the people to clean wells and dig the village paths. They would even dig pit-latrines for homesteads, which did not have them. Sometimes, the chiefs would even use some force. However, such programmes no longer exist.

Although sub-county and parish chiefs still exist, their authority has been undermined by the powers of the LC3 chairpersons. And, because the LC3 officials are politically-elected, they rarely support any community mobilisation efforts that may require coercion. This is because they do not want to become unpopular among the people and lose their support.

Politics must, therefore, be left out of community work so that the people can engage in activities that make their lives better.

Editor"s comment: Do not politicise ‘bulungi bwansi’

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