Re-opening schools: ULGA rallies local leaders to mobilize masses for COVID-19 vaccination

ULGA Executive members addressing the media in Kampala

Leaders under the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) have appealed to Government to earmark a National month of action to mobilize all teachers and non-teaching staff to get vaccinated at District and lower government level to facilitate the re-opening of all learning institutions.

The call was made by ULGA leaders while addressing the media in Kampala where they encouraged all local leaders to step up community mobilization for COVID-19 vaccination.

ULGA President, Joseph Lomonyang said that it is time for government to come up with a clear vaccination campaign targeting teachers at all local government level so as to save the education sector that is being affected by the closure of schools.

“We realize that the national lock down has left approximately 15 million children out of school for a long period of time and mainly subjected to on-line learning which is not affordable especially in the   rural communities.   This digital   divide   has   exacerbated educational inequalities among children and the promotion of SDG Four a night mare,” Lomonyang said.

Lomonyang said that the lock down has also exposed a good number of children to early   marriages, sexual vulnerability, juvenile delinquency and crime among others.

As Local Government leaders, we recommend to Central Government to earmark a National Month of Action to mobilize all teaching and non-teaching staff to get vaccinated at District and lower Local Government level, to facilitate the re-opening of all learning institutions in Uganda, to ensure the safety of our children and other Ugandans from the global pandemic.

“We also call upon local government councilors to leverage   their leadership role and community mobilization mandate, working closely with the District Covid Task Forces to encourage our people to go for vaccinations. The faster we embrace the facility, the better for us to continue the pursuit of the daily livelihoods with reduced interactions and constraints arising from the Pandemic.” Lomonyang noted.

During the same event, ULGA Secretary General, Gertrude Rose Gamwera called upon government handle the several threats against the decentralization policy in the country.

ULGA members

“As Uganda continues to commemorate the African Day of Decentralization and Local Development, which was marked on 10 August, 2021, the Executive Committee leaders of ULGA, would like to appreciate the Government of Uganda for having embraced the decentralization agenda. Through this, a number of achievements have been realized including political devolution, where citizens are enabled to choose their leaders periodically through adult sufferage, promotion of area-based planning which increased access to the quality of social services in Local Governments, among others,” Gamwera said.

She however noted that the decentralization policy is still faced with numerous challenges that are so critical and systemic that Central Government needs to address as they threaten to diminish the decentralization promise envisaged by the policy makers.

“These include, inadequate financing and investment in human resources and facilities, weak systems in place and poor coordination, conflicting legislations among others. Our call therefore is that as we commemorate this significant day, Central Government should pay critical attention to the decentralization agenda for improved service delivery,” Gamwera noted.

ULGA Easter region Vice President, Patrick Kayemba noted that ULGA welcomes the Parish Model approach towards development and will offer any support towards reshaping it to be anchored to the real principles of decentralization.

“Under decentralization, the whole notion of Parish development programs came up which has now evolved into the Parish model, we appreciate this approach towards development which has been lacking for a very long time,” Kayemba said.

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