Busoga leaders rallied to fight poverty, GBV and emphasize fair budgeting

Equal Opportunities Commission Chairperson, Ms Safia Nalule Juuko (Photo/File)

IGANGA, (UG): Leaders in Busoga subregion have been rallied to jointly fight all kinds of violence amongst themselves as a measure of availing equal opportunities for everyone in the region. This message was echoed on Wednesday by the Equal Opportunities Commission at Iganga district council hall.

While engaging a number of leaders from Iganga District and the Municipality on fair budget appropriation by the UN, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) chairperson, Ms Safia Nalule Juuko revealed that Busoga has a problem of physical, sexual violence and gender-based violence which must be addressed by the leaders.

“Busoga has a problem of physical and sexual violence and 51% of women and 52% of men of age 15-49 have experienced physical violence and 22% of women and 8% of men have ever experienced sexual violence. 11% of women who have ever been pregnant have experienced physical violence during one or more pregnancies here in Busoga,” Ms Nalule said.

She also urged leaders in Busoga to come together and utilize opportunities from the government in fighting poverty instead of fighting themselves. She was concerned with poverty in Busoga saying some money keeps on bouncing back to the national treasury yet there are knowledgeable people in the region who can make use of the money in fighting poverty.

“Busoga has big shots including the head of the National Planning Authority and they need to sit and discuss why they are in either number two or three in receiving big amounts of money from the government but not utilizing the money. We reached somewhere when people were in political battles while others failed to use the money and took it back to the treasury,” Ms Nalule added.

A section of leaders who attended the engagement on Wednesday, August 09, 2023

The engagement was attended by among others the councillors in Iganga municipality and Iganga district plus other leaders who emphasized the need for a combined force in having a fair appropriation of the budget in every region to steer equal opportunities at all levels.

The woman member of parliament for Iganga district Hon Kauma Sauda Alibaawo called upon councillors to join hands in fighting a number of challenges in Busoga particularly teenage pregnancies.
“We shouldn’t look only to MPs or the president but also you as councillors, you’re also reliable and we should come up with a mechanism of fighting this,”

“We have a high rate of teenage pregnancies and the statistics after COVID-19 were worrying and the disease burden is high,” Hon Kauma said before pointing out that the region currently lacks a functional government university something she said, creates a gap between Busoga sub-region and other regions in education.

Iganga Woman MP, Hon Sauda Alibaawo speaking to the press after the engagement

Hon Kauma also tasked leaders to join hands in fighting poverty without leaving the burden to only a specific class of leaders. She adds that the training emphasized equity in budget appropriation which is fair to every person, region, and gender, among others.

“Our leaders have understood that whenever one plans to construct a school for example in Nawandala, there is a need to ease its access to disabled learners and even our roads should be budgeted in a way that someone can easily use them and ably access facilities like health centre, school, among others.”

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