The year 2004 marks the end of the 5-year project period. While it is important to look at the achievements during this period, it is just as important to assess project performance in the two villages of Walukunyu and to a lesser extent Kiralamba, for the whole project period 1994 – 2004. The socio-economic impact on the lives of the people in these communities cannot be ignored. Whether or not there has indeed been a change is what this report will focus on and try to highlight.
At the beginning of the project, the set objective was to improve on the living conditions of the communities through provision of water, increase coverage and access to health services, manpower development by facilitating education and empowerment of women through transfer of skill and knowledge. The range of activities carried out by the project cover specific programmes in community development, related to the above-mentioned topics.
A review and summary of each sub-project is made hereunder;
1. Provision of safe water
The saying ³Water is life² was not ignored by the project. Before the project, communities used to travel distances in search of water and the time lost had a negative impact on productivity. In both villages, boreholes have been constructed and safe water is easily accessible. This has also put to history diseases that are associated with dirty water and in turn made the societies more productive.
During the pre-project time, little emphasis was placed on education, mainly due to lack of facilities and also ignorance. The few children that went to school had to travel a long way in search of good schools. Two primary schools have been built, one in each village providing education up to primary seven. Enrolment has gradually improved, as has been the grading of the schools. There are now around 400 students in each school.
It is true that only schools that can house teachers would have the best ones. The project constructed staff quarters in each village and this has not only made it possible to secure the services of qualified teachers, but also to ensure that they are full time on the job. The District is responsible for recruitment and remuneration of the teaching staff.
3. Manpower development
Knowledge is power. Through the transfer of skills, the lives of Walukunyu and Kiralamba communities are definitely improved. The following categories have received support from the project.
- Orphans. Yearly, ten orphans have received support at primary school level
- Some well performing students have received sponsorship in Secondary schools, to get the ŒO¹level certificate
- One project-sponsored girl is offering a Degree in Accountancy and Information Technology at university level.
- A girl from Walukunyu received support and is now qualified as a Clinical Officer – In service (on-job) training support has been given to four unqualified teachers, to qualify as in the profession.
- Several young men have received on job- training in masonry and carpentry. This was possible during the construction that took place in the villages. Some financial support was availed to motivate the trainees, from the project.
4. Women clubs
Mobilisation of the women has been one of the very important programmes of the project. The women have been able to build institutions of leadership through the formation of women¹s clubs. Apart from direct support to projects, the women clubs have received guidance and training from two Supervisors directly engaged by the project. It is fair to note that this programme has been successful in that the women¹s vision and appreciation of issues has completely changed for the better.
Programmes that were undertaken by women¹s clubs include;
- Literacy training where most members can now read and write
- Home improvement, with a focus on primary health care and hygiene.
- Energy saving stoves, with a view to environment conservation
- Modernisation of Agriculture, with the growing of improved crops like Matooke, vegetables, and fruit trees
- Microfinance, through a loan scheme with members borrowing from the club account on a rotational basis
- Handicraft, producing home made items for sale
- Tailoring lessons, clubs are in position to produce school uniforms on a commercial basis
- Rearing of cattle and pigs on a member loan scheme
- Bee farming for honey production
- Brick making for sale
5. Health Services.
The project made sure that health services were brought closer to the communities. This has been achieved through the construction of Health centres in the villages. The one at Walukunyu is operational and is ranked the best performing in the District. It is hoped that the one in Kiralamba will be operational in the not far distant future, as soon as the national ban on recruitment of staff is lifted. In order that continuity is possible, the District is charged with the maintenance of the buildings together with day to day running of the Health centres. Out reach activities like immunisation are also carried out at the centres.
6. HIV/Aids awareness
In line with the worldwide effort to save mankind from the Aids epidemic, a programme has been sponsored in conjunction with the Directorate of Health Services at the District. Pre-test counselling service has been provided to create awareness, HIV tests carried out and Post test clubs formed in both villages. About 10% of the tested have been proved to be positive. Follow up counselling of the infected has been provided. It is hoped that with increased awareness, the spread of aids would be reduced.
7. Cooperation with the District/Project Organisation.
This area deserves mention. All that has been achieved has been possible through the direct involvement of the District Administration and local leaders in Nakasongola. Local Project Committees in the villages, have been involved in decision-making, supply of locally produced building material in case of construction and have now been entrusted with the maintenance of the structures. This too is in line with the concept of building capacity.
On the policy level, the cooperation with the District has been instrumental in that all project activities have been in line with District development plans. Consultations at different levels made it possible to get the authorities¹ support for what took place.
8. Cultural exchange
It is important to note that during the past 10 years, a bond has been developed between the people in Nakasongola and Norway. We will specifically mention the cooperation between Walukunyu and Vesteskaun School, and also between Kiralamba and Saetre School. The pupils in these schools have personal feelings for their colleagues, since letters have been exchanged on project visits. Special school material and teaching aids have been provided to improve the performance of the school. Generally, the mention of Norway in the project areas stopped being strange as some homesteads have photographs of project members hanging on the walls. All this is sign of the bond that has been created.
The project period in the two villages of Walukunyu and Kiralamba has created an everlasting socio-economic impact. Apart from the structures erected, the people have access to safe drinking water, education, clean homes, improved diet, better literacy levels, micro-financing and a chance to determine the future through voluntary testing for HIV. Generally, although Community development is a continuous process, a step has been realised in this direction.
Kampala, February 25, 2005