by MORIS MUMBERE,
The European Union Delegation in Uganda has earmarked over Sh. 1.6 billion to fund a 3-year Community Action to Prevent and Manage Conflict and Human Rights Violations project in the Rwenzori region.
The project is to be implemented by the Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) in collaboration with Hivos-Netherlands, Jimmy BalukuOdyek the project Coordinator told the press today.
“We have received Euro 472,500 and equivalent of Ug. Sh. 1.653.750.000 to run a three-year project to sensitize the people on how they could prevent or manage conflicts and human rights violations in this [Rwenzori] region”, Odyek said.
He said that the project is built on the premise that the Rwenzori Region is synonymous with conflicts since 1921and government responses to them have either been political or military while community actions have not been recorded as a means of conflict resolution and yet the communities suffer much the effects of the conflicts.
Speaking to the press at RWECO offices in Kasese town, Odyek noted that when conflicts break out, lives are lost and property destroyed and social life is disrupted ending into a threat to food security as well.
He said that women, children, people living with disabilities, the elderly and the youths are the most affected groups when conflicts break out.
The Rwenzori region of the country is just recovering from a bloody and property destructive post-election conflict especially in Bundibugyo and Kasese districts during which at least 30 people lost their lives.
RWECO is a consortium of Rwenzori region based NGOs including Karambi Action for Life Improvement (KALI), Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development, Human Rights and Democracy Link Africa (RIDE- AFRICA) and Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RiC-Net) which will implement the project in the districts of Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kamwenge and Kasese to develop local initiatives aimed at preventing and managing conflicts.
During the project, 40 Foot Peace Ambassadors from 20 sub-counties are to be trained.Under the project, the three Cultural Institutions in the Rwenzori region including the Obusinga bwa Toro Kingdom, the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu and the ObudhingiyabwaBwamba will be equipped with Electronic equipments for sending peace massages to the people in the region.
The cultural institutions will also be encouraged to work alongside the Interreligious Council of Uganda to preach and send peace messages to the communities.