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Northern Uganda leaders make their demands

By Eddie Ssejjoba

Added 12th July 2018 08:40 PM

The demands were contained in a declaration made by district leaders after a dialogue on critical issues affecting the region.

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The demands were contained in a declaration made by district leaders after a dialogue on critical issues affecting the region.

PIC: The Omoro district chairperson, Douglas Okello handing over a declaration document for leaders from the Lango and Acholi sub region to Vice President, Edward Ssekandi at Bobi Community Polytechnic in Omoro district, June 11,2018. (Credit:Eddie Ssejjoba)

POPULATION


LANGO - Local Government chairpersons from the Acholi and Lango sub region have demanded for a mini-census in their area.

This is to enable them ascertain the exact number of people in each district for proper allocation of resources.

The leaders argue that the national population census of 2014 was made when majority of the people were still living in camps and they have since returned to their respective homes.

The demands were contained in a declaration made by district leaders after a dialogue on critical issues affecting the region, which was part of the pre-World Population Day conference in Omoro district.

The declaration was later read out by the Omoro LC5 chairman, Peter Douglas Okello and submitted to the Vice President, Edward Ssekandi who represented President Yoweri Museveni at the World Population Day function held at Bobi Community Polytechnic Play Ground in Omoro district.

The theme of the day was; “Leaving No body behind-Improving Service Delivery and Accountability.”

Some of the exhibitors at the World Population day function in Omoro district. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)


Okello said there was an urgent need to integrate, programme, budget and plan for population issues in their respective districts with the development of Uganda.

He explained that the leaders proposed that as districts embark on rehabilitation programmes and people return to their respective homes, there was need for a mini census, which he said would bring out the aspect of resource allocation.

He explained that there was a big disparity in terms of development with the rest of the country because of high levels of poverty in the region.

“Some of our people are facing a huge shortage of food, we have examples of people who go for over three days without eating,” he explained.

The leaders also resolved to join hands with the UN population body, UNFPA in the campaign dubbed, ‘Live Your Dream’ (or Let girls live their dreams) which is meant to inspire action towards a better life for young people and women and promote the well-being of the entire family.

They want the campaign to be localised to lower levels.

School children perform before the guests at Bobi Play Ground in Omoro district during world Population Day function. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)


The leaders, according to their submission, resolved to invest more in the areas of quality education, youth skills development and deal with barriers to the development of women and girls.

They want to strengthen accountability, service delivery and sexual reproductive health.

They demanded that the central and local governments allocate more funds towards working on more roads, energy, human development in education and physical planning.

Okello said politicians agreed to increase on monitoring of government programmes like NAADS, increase youth participation in decision making right from the grassroots and fight the vice of corruption at all levels.

Dealing with environmental degradation was also singled out as a major concern to both civil society organisations and leaders from Northern Uganda and they all resolved to launch a tree planting campaign.  

Omoro; in particular resolved to put up strategies to fight teenage pregnancy, which he said stands at 28%, higher than the national average which is at 25%.

“All leaders including, MPs should join the campaign to ensure that all girls stay in school and finish education,” he said.

The function was attended by school children who performed and acted before the guests.

Some of the residents of Bobi in Omoro district attending the World Population day July 11,2018. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)

In their perfomances, they pointed issues of teenage pregnancy and early marriages.

State minister for defense, Okello Engora asked boys and men to stop impregnating girls but rather give them a chance to finish their education.

The Netherlands ambassador in Uganda, Henk Jan Bakke also appealed to the leadership at all levels to help in ending teenage pregnancy.

He said it was not good news to hear that 49% of girls are married at the age of 18.

The UNFPA country representative, Alain Sibenaler pledged that the organisation would continue supporting government in implementing its policies targeting helping girls to stay in school.

Some of the young girls from the Uganda Bureau of statistics attenting the World Population Day function.

He said the campaign ‘Let girls be girls’, is aimed at mobilising communities to help girls by giving them books, uniforms and let them choose and be free from violence.

He said he admires and respects President Yoweri Museveni’s leadership on population issues and his recent pronouncement to fight the high prevalence of teenage pregnancy.

Over 15 Members of Parliament attended the function.     

 

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