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viagra geneva;”>The call came to light at first Parliamentary outreach forum for the Islands launched by the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga on Kalangala Island on Monday.
“This forum seeks to create and strengthen the relationship between district leaders, civil society, the media and the leadership of Parliament. The outreach to the islands will enable us appreciate the unique challenges faced by the communities here and help us plan better,” Speaker Kadaga told delegates to the forum.
The Speaker reaffirmed Parliament’s commitment to fighting corruption and called for ring fencing of local government resources unutilised at the end of the financial year to form part of their budget in the new year.
Kadaga was accompanied to the outreach by the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Nandala Mafabi, the Minister for Luweero Triangle Hon. Namayanja Rosemary who represented the Leader of Government Business, Parliament Commissioners Hon. Ddombo Lumala and Hon.Bintu Jalia as well as several legislators and technocrats.
She supported calls for an equalization grant for the island districts as well as a proposal by district leaders to have ambulances along the lakes to save the island dwellers.
District Chairpersons and technical officers from the districts of Mukono, Ruvuma, Kalangala, Rakai, Namayingo, Kalungu expressed discontent over the allocation of only 21 percent of the national budget to local governments yet they are expected to provide 80 percent of the services to the communities.
Districts with Islands reported that the national budget allocation is based on land mass yet the distances between islands is sometimes several nautical miles of water with no resources provided in the budget.
Mukono district chairperson Lukooya Mukoome told delegates to the outreach that the recentralisation policy currently being implemented by the central government has grossly affected service delivery at the district level.
He cited delays in the process of replacement of staff that have died, retired or resigned accusing the Public Service of blocking the process.
The Local government leaders asked government to consider special programmes for the islands which are grappling with inadequate sanitation and clean water facilities, health centres and the failure to attract skilled manpower.
The Parliament Outreach forum launched in Masaka in 2008 has since been conducted in Gulu district, Fortportal and Karamoja. The forum brings together the leadership of Parliament and district leaders, councillors and civil society.