Corruption within the Lower Local Government Administration: – Tororo District
It may be unbelievable that corruption can erode a system that planners may have thought could bring value to the intended beneficiaries, but this is what describes the failed government plans in some rural parts of Tororo district in Eastern Uganda. Poor service delivery appears to be the order of governance in most areas. According to information gathered by Voluntary Social Accountability Committees (VSACs) in the six parishes of Katejula, Maundo & Namwaya (Nagongera sub-county) and Mulanda, Lwalla & Mwello (Mulanda sub-county), service delivery is in most cases frustrated by those who are assigned to offer the services.
Much as it may not be easy to point ‘fingers’ at culprits now, it is easier to note the victims who suffer from the corruption tendencies that eat up the systems of government programs. Early this month of March 2014, there was a strike by health personnel in Tororo district. However, of the over ten short messages expressing issues of poor service delivery in the health sector, only one VSAC from Katejula parish, Nagongera sub-county noted the health centre strike as a ‘felt’ health service delivery issue amidst other issues with the same health facility. This is an indicator of how bad health service delivery is in most rural areas. Some of the key issues reported included non functional health centres, shortage of drugs, absence of health centre staff in some parishes for instance in Namwaya parish, dilapidated health centre structures e.g. at Katejula, filthy health facilities, limited staff in some health centres, late opening of health centre IIs, some health centre IIs are operated in some body’s private premises like P’okongo health centre II in Maundo parish, Nagongera sub-county among others.
Despite their acknowledgement that government does plan and budget for health services in the respective local governments, the voluntary social accountability committees noted that something seems to get wrong always. The project being implemented by WOUGNET will therefore act as an eye opener to the VSACs to enable them identify the loopholes in service provision, document and report them to the various duty bearers at the district and sub-county levels and to WOUGNET project officer in Tororo so as to have them verified and disseminated in the various platforms such as Ushahidi, facebook, twitter and on the websites.
WOUGNET will also provide platforms for information sharing at the district level so that the VSACs are able to present their monitoring results to the leaders and have the later respond to them. It is expected that the duty bearers will be able to address most of the issues reported to them and for those that are beyond them, they will be presented and discussed at the national level.
Agnes Bukare, Project officer WOUGNET -Eastern Uganda