Re-evaluate northern Uganda’s development initiatives
Posted Tuesday, October 8 2013 at 01:00
The Northern Uganda Reconstruction Programme and several other such programmes by NGOs, CBOs and Civil Society have been running for ages. However, I have never heard anything about building and maintaining our traditional practices such as thatching; traditional dances, folklore, architecture, making mats, spears, making and playing local music instruments.
It was not until last year when I tried to build a poultry house using local materials and techniques and it collapsed on me, that I realised I needed the skills. The long running insurgency in northern Uganda took more than we can imagine from our people; naturally a man of my age would be in a position to build his own hut and even more be able to provide for the wife and family with our basic traditional skill-sets. These skill-sets were passed on over generations but we have unfortunately lost to insurgency and to western civilisation.
This metamorphosis happened when Ugandans in the north lived in IDPs for over 15 years. This coupled with youths aspiring and adapting to a purely urban life style, leaving little to be done. There has also been the case of the insurgency wiping out our older generation. Unfortunately, even with the return to peace now, these skills have been lost along the way.
All is not lost though; I do hope our legislators re-evaluate Northern development and factor in the retaining of these much needed traditional skill sets. The education system needs to be utilised better by promoting different groups in school that explore these skills and values for example drama clubs and traditional building clubs.
Geoffrey Munno, (MBA, Bsc, Dip.)