Friday February 7 2014

Locals want to join Rwanda to get social services

Mr Gerosome Turyareba, a resident of Kyarwehunde in Ruhaama Sub-county,

Mr Gerosome Turyareba, a resident of Kyarwehunde in Ruhaama Sub-county, Ntungamo at a meeting last week. PHOTO BY PEREZ RUMANZI 

By Perez Rumanzi

Ntungamo- Residents of Nshenyi and Kyarwehunde parishes in Ruhaama County, Ntungamo District have demanded to be part of Rwanda, claiming they cannot access social services in Uganda.

The locals, who live at the border with Tanzania and Rwanda, said at a meeting last week that they lack clean water, roads, schools and agricultural extension services.

“We feel we have been ignored because of our location. We live in Uganda and get everything from Rwanda. We need to be part of Rwanda,” Mr Lawrence Kabesiime, a Kyarwehunde councillor, said.

Mr Gerosome Turyareba, an elder, said their challenges have not been addressed for a long time because they are located on the sides of the district neighbouring other countries.

In 2012, residents of Kyarwehunde solicited funds to connect safe water through the villages but were able to move it for only four kms due to lack of funds.

They fetch water from River Kagyera and Kafunjo stream which is about 10km away.
Mr Deo Karuhaama, the Kyarwehunde village chairperson, said without water and roads in their areas, residents will continue demanding to secede to Rwanda where they get better services.

“We shall not allow any government official to speak from here, we shall not allow anyone to campaign from here visit our churches or schools because they have left them in a poor state,” Mr Karuhaama said.

However, the LC3 chairperson, Mr Ton Rwomushana, who also attended the meeting, said the sub-county had no budget for water, adding that they should address their frustration to the district and MPs who control bigger budgets.

When contacted on the matter, the district chairperson, Mr Denis Singahache, appealed for patience.

“We know the challenges they face. This is an area that is like Karamoja, they have no water and rains rarely come. As the district, we shall do what we can, repair the roads and possibly fix in the budget provision for water,” Mr Singahache said.

However, Mr George Bakunda, the representative of Ms Janet Museveni, the Ruhaama County MP, denied reports that residents wanted to secede, saying Kyarwehunde parish was still developing, adding that they had provided services like a maize milling machine, constructed boreholes and several roads in the county.