Mbale. The Bamasaba cultural leader has urged government to increase funding to cultural institutions, saying they are grappling with meagre resources to effectively run their affairs.
The Umukhukha, Sir Bob Mushikori, also suggested that for effective running of the institutions, the government should set up an independent ministry in-charge of culture.
“We need our own fully-fledged ministry that is well-funded to support our projects because as a country, we are endowed with unique cultures and great potential for tourism but they remain unexploited,” he said.
The Umukhukha explained that more funding will empower the cultural institutions to establish cultural centres where their heritages will be preserved for future generations.
Mr Mushikori made the remarks on Saturday while addressing thousands of people who thronged Mutoto cultural ground in Mbale District for the official launch of the 2018 Imbalu ceremony in Bugisu region.
Mr Mushikori also appealed to the Bamasaba to unite and support education of their children.
“I want to see us having more of our children getting education and knowledge from all spheres of life and use it for development,” he said.
Mr Francis Mashete, the institution prime minister, said they are putting in place measures to conserve the environment.
He, however, appealed to the government to improve on the transport network in the area, saying it is affecting the growth of the tourism sector.
The deputy governor of Bungoma County in Kenya, Professor Ngome Kibanani, said there is a need to document the history of Bamasaba for the benefit of future generations.
“Our culture is marketable and we need to document it,” he said, adding that unity among Bamasaba of Kenya and Uganda should be strengthened for economic and political reasons.
The State minister for Gender, Ms Peace Mutuzo, said traditional cultural leaders should play a role in the implementation of sustainable development goals.
“The traditional leaders should ensure that nobody is left behind in the walk towards middle income status of the economy,” she said.
Energy minister Irene Muloni, who represented the President, said the government is committed to supporting cultural institutions. Three youth were circumcised at the event and others from will follow gradually up to December 31.