Countryside Reports, Buhweju
Close to ten years after attaining the district status, Buhweju district leaders feel their area still grapples with a myriad of challenges that need the attention of the Central Government.
This was revealed by the political head of the district, Mr. John Asiimwe while speaking on Friday, 29th 2019, as the district celebrated the belated International Women’s Day at Bushozi Playground, Nyakishana sub county.
Briefing the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanya, who was the Guest of Honor, about the status of Buhweju district, Mr. Asiimwe took the speaker through a few achievements and many challenges that the district has seen and is seeing 10 years after split from Bushenyi.
“I want to appreciate government’s support especially for giving us the road unit. I want to assure you that Buhweju has received all the six machines of the road unit and we are using them,” said Mr. Asiimwe
After extending his appreciation, the district chairperson gave a wish list of the things that the district would want central government to pay attention so that it can move with other parts of the country in the direction of development.
He highlighted challenges in areas of health, education, and social being of the people of Buhweju district.
Considering the terrain and the quality of soils in the district, Mr. Asiimwe requested the deputy speaker of Parliament to make a way for Buhweju district to get strong and hard road machines because of the hard terrain.
“Our humble request that Buhweju be added at least a bulldozer or an excavator because the district is mountainous with stony soils. You cannot open a road with an ordinary grader. We had brought this to the attention of the President and other relevant ministries to the effect that Buhweju district should be added a bulldozer or excavator so that we are able to open roads in some of the hard to reach places.” Mr. Asiimwe requested
He added that the district is eagerly waiting for implementation of the projects that were pledged by President Museveni during his visit to the area when he pledged to tarmac the Nyakambu- Nsiika, Kyankanda-Bitysa-Ibanda roads. He indicated that recently, there have been surveyors and valuers on the roads and some people had even started relocating because their houses were marked and that the people no longer get loans in banks because their property that would have served as security had been marked.
The Chairperson told the speaker that Buhweju is one of the districts in Uganda that don’t have a district hospital, yet the government policy says that there should be a hospital per district. He highlighted other challenges in the health sector like inadequate staffing which emanates from issues of the wage bill, lack of health infrastructure in sub counties without health center 111s. He appealed that government expedites the upgrade of Nsiika health center IV to hospital level.
Mr. Asiimwe also said that government is implementing the upgrade of health center 11s to health center 111s, but in Buhweju, some sub counties do not even have health center 11s and there is nothing to upgrade.
“There are around three sub counties where there is nothing to upgrade and yet in the ministry, the guidelines say that we have to upgrade and we are not allowed to construct afresh. Parliament needs to look into this matter so that we can be authorized to construct health centers in areas where there is nothing to upgrade.” He lamented
On the part of Education, the district Chairperson requested for a special funding for infrastructure development at the few secondary schools in the district, pointing that the existing government aided schools are grossly understaffed and there is a very high turnover due to the hard to reach factor.
He said that most secondary school teachers use Buhweju as a conduit to access government payroll. He proposed that government facilitates targeted recruitment Secondary School teachers in this district. So that the qualified secondary school teachers born in this district are given priority during recruitment.
High cost of accessing judicial services have also affected service delivery in the district because there is no magistrate yet the district is entitled to a grade one magistrate and a chief magistrate. The district was upgraded to have a chief magistrate, but there is no resident magistrate. The whole chain of justice is being affected because after the state attorney, the people cannot access a magistrate. The leaders say, they have brought this matter to the attention of relevant authorities in judiciary but nothing has been done.
Splitting of the district
The Chairperson also asked the deputy speaker to facilitate the split of Buhweju Constituency into two-Buhweju West and Buhweju East following a district council resolution to have two constituencies. Mr. Asiimwe told the speaker that the district council made the resolution on 14th March 2019. He revealed that a formal request has already been submitted to relevant offices for further management.
Mr. Asiimwe appealed to the speaker to cause implementation of these projects in memory of your historical visit to Buhweju district.
When he got up to speak to the people of Buhweju district, Rt. Hon. Oulanya said that the leaders had raised many issues, but he had no time to attend to them at that time, but promised to work with the MPs to solve the challenges.
You have talked about the hospital, domestic violence, judiciary, and the issue of splitting the constituency, all those are the assignments that I am going with to Kampala and with the help of your two MPs, I will be able to help and see how to make these things come to realization.” He said
He asked the people of Buhweju to do all it takes and win their MP, Mr. Mwijukye to the ruling party side- National Resistance Movement. Mr. Mwijukye went to Parliament on the ticket of Forum for Democratic Change.
Last year, president Yoweri Museveni faulted the people of Buhweju for sending Mr. Francis Mwijukye to parliament. While speaking at different places, Mr. Museveni said he had deleted Buhweju from the map of Uganda because of voting for Mr. Mwijukye. This brings a question of whether the central government whose head is President Museveni will listen to the crying voices and solve the outstanding challenges the hilly district of Buhweju is currently facing.