Development aid - Projects
That's only examples!I. DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
In recognition of the need to uplift the general well-being of the people of Bunyoro-Kitara, and to ensure a bright future for the youth of the Kingdom, a number of development projects have been initiated. Some of these efforts are already under way, while others are placed on temporary hold, awaiting availability of needed financing. Progress is dependent on funding. The Omukama appeals to all our friends to rally to our help in these efforts. We are inviting sympathetic organizations and private companies to help us stand on our own feet, or to work in partnership with our own business people.II. PROTECTION OF ANTIQUITIES AND RENOVATION OF HISTORICAL SITES
The kingdom is richly endowed with historical sites that were neglected during the period the monarchy was abolished. We have 24 royal tombs, two main palaces, and numerous articles of royal regalia. The palaces and the royal tombs are in a sorry state of disrepair, due to desecration and lack of attention during the period when the kingdom was abolished. We are making concerted efforts to renovate these places to ensure their role in the history and cultural traditions of the Banyoro.
Other sites of cultural and historical significance include the ancient sites of the Abayaga and Abasengya clans. Kyanku kya Mihiingo, the ancestor of the bayaga, established a homestead on Buyaga hill. The bayaga have lived on Buyaga hill continuously through forty generations. The Abayaga clan is prominent in our history as the they were contemporaries of the bachweezi.
The Abasengya clan established their roots at Igayaza, in Bugangaizi county. They have lived in this place through the ages. Many of their ancient artifacts and weapons have survived through the ages and are still in their households. The kingdom is seeking funding to organize such sites and preserve their ancient artifacts for future cultural, historical and educational interest. III. NUTRITION CAMPAIGN
We have embarked on a food and nutrition campaign to improve the appaling health status of our population, particularly among mothers and infants. We intend to use our numerous fresh water rivers and lakes as a source of protein-rich fish products.
Our strategy is to encourage fish farming in man-made ponds that are fed by fresh water. The second strategy is to put to optimal use the fisheries resources of Lake Albert and the River Nile. We will encourage environment friendly fishing and conservation practices, hygienic fish handling, storage and packaging and transportation.
We also need to impart to our rural population, productive methods of crop husbandry, harvesting, preservation and storage of food. Concurrently, we shall encourage and educate mothers on planning meals that provide the basic nutrition needs of their families. It is our hope that proper nutrition and health practices will go a long way in elevating the levels of overall health and well being of the population. In the long run, it should have a positive impact on the current high rates of infant mortality.
Increased food production is another goal of this effort. We need to examine our traditional cultivation methods and seek ways to improve them. The hand hoe is the main tool for working the land. Our people labor in their fields for months on end, only to end up with a small piece of well prepared land. It takes a whole month or more to prepare a small piece of land for planting. We are seeking assistance to introduce simple, mechanized equipment for working the land. A simple rotor tiller can be a great improvement over the traditional hand hoe. It is easy to use and maintain, and a dozen of them can be purchased for the price of a tractor.IV. PRESERVATION OF ROYAL MUSIC AND DANCE
The Banyoro take pride in the variety and quality of their royal music. The variety includes amakondere, enseegu, entiimbo, engaija, amahuurru and engwaara. Each type has its specialized musical instruments that require specialized skill to play. During the 17 years when the Kingdom was temporarily interrupted, one of the aspects of royal life that suffered was the royal music. This music is normally passed on from generation to generation. Most of the masters of the music are dead or very old. There is a real fear that our royal music may become "extinct". The need to have this music and dance recorded on tape and DVD; and to have it transcribed in modern notation is, therefore, very urgent. Following their recording, the music and dance will be housed in a royal music library, which will serve as a useful teaching resource for teachers and scholars of traditional and royal music genres.
Another aspect of this heritage is the royal Dance Troupe. This is a group of the Kingdom's most talented masters of the royal dances who have offered their servises on a voluntary basis. Their dance skills are also passed on from generation to generation. Many of the members are dead and others are in their last years. The Kingdom wants to take measures to preserve the royal dance heritage for posterity.
As a first step, the royal dance troupe will be given appropriate costumes so as to present an authentic and visually appealing appearance. Next, we need to establish a system to help the members of the troupe take care of the financial needs of their families. To this end, various income-generating projects are proposed. They include fish farming, poultry raising, food crop cultivation, etc. Concurrent with the last two efforts, the dances will be coreographed and actively taught to a younger generation, to ensure continuity.
Funding is needed to help in the design and implementation of programs to preserve royal music and dance practices, and to set up and equip modern recording studios with audio and video recording capability. It is also hoped that a mobile van will serve as a roving recording studio that will visit the kingdom's schools and cultural centers to record various traditional music and dances. V. FM RADIO STATION
The kingdom has a task to sensitize and mobilize her people for effective social and economic development. We can best reach the masses through a mass medium like radio. An effective radio network will enable us to expose the population to as much information as will trigger a sustainable development process in different spheres of human endeavor. Outreach efforts will include programs in culture, agriculture, forestry, animal and crop husbandry, food and water conservation, disease prevention, infant care and child rearing, basic nutrition, etc.
Fundraising for the radio station is already underway. A feasibility study, just completed, puts the cost of the station at US$ 1 400 000. We are appealing to our friends for financial assistance to help us bring this project to fruition. Donations of new or used FM equipment will also be welcome.VI. LIVESTOCK HUSBANDRY
The Kingdom of Bunyoro has a lot of potential for rearing beef and dairy cattle. The chances for raising cattle at an industrial level are very real. Modern livestock husbandry practices would ensure a reliable supply of beef and milk for the domestic and foreign markets. We are looking for partners to work with on establishing a viable beef and dairy industry; including the production, packaging of beef, milk, butter, cheese, and other by-products.
Prior to the abolition of kingdoms, Bunyoro Kingdom had successfully operated the Bunyoro Ranching Company. The ranch served the restocking needs of local farmers. We would like to resurrect this activity. The Kingdom has 130 square miles of land for this project, not including land owned by local farmers.
It is envisioned that the new livestock project would be self sufficient in all aspects of raising and processing cattle products. It will have its own research laboratory, education center, and veterinary clinic. There will be ongoing research aimed at developing animals that are suited to the local conditions. It will also serve as the center of outreach activities to take services to the local farmers. Various instructional materials will be designed and produced on site, to be used in implementing various animal husbandry refresher courses for local farmers.
We are inviting our friends to join us and enjoy the privilege of starting this project from scratch. VII. FOREST PLANTING, CONSERVATION AND HYDRO-CARBON SINK TANKS
The Kingdom had embarked upon the planting of 4 000 hectares of forest on the hills of Wampanga, Waisembe and others, when it was abolished in 1967. Only 400 hectares had been planted when work came to a stop.The 400 hectares are now standing stock of soft wood that we are harvesting rationally and reinvesting the income realised into replanting.
This hill forest reserve is of immense environmental value for wildlife and fresh water supply. From the 400 original hectares issues very clean water, currently pumped into the villages below the hills, in the subcounty of Kitoba.
We are promoting forest conservation for clean environmental purposes, and to boost bio-mass sink tanks for hydro-carbons. We invite interested parties, from all over the world, to be partners, investors, or donors; in support of this effort. Planting will extend over a period of ten years, and it is envisioned that 5 200 000 trees will be raised to maturity, at a total cost of 5 million US dollars. VIII. POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT ADVOCACY PROJECT
The Omukama is concerned about the poor status of reproductive health in our Kingdom. This project seeks to improve the overall health status of the population.
Of great concern to the Omukama are the issues of adolescent pregnancies, early marriages, unwanted pregnancies, infant mortality, maternal morbidity and mortality among adolescent mothers. The indicators are quite disturbing. Maternal mortality, in this Kingdom, is as high as 805 per 100 000; far above the national average of 506 per 100 000.
We are working in partnership with the National Population Secretariat, but barely touching the tip of the iceberg. Our only source of funding, currently, is the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, which falls short of meeting our ideal operating levels. An increase in funding levels must be found to enable us reach the entire vulnerable population.
IX. SOLAR POWER AND RURAL ELECTRIFICATION
In an effort to preserve the bio-mass, which is currently being depleted by domestic fuel needs, the Kingdom is promoting practical research into alternative energy sources for rural electrification. The development of solar solar, hydro and wind electric power generation is being encouraged.
The Japanese government is funding some rural electrification programs in some areas of the country. Our small towns of Kigorobya and Munteme have benefited from this program. We need to take aggressive steps in this direction, in order to alleviate the current absence of electric power in our rural areas; where the largest percentage of our population live.
The situation is, indeed, bleak. The main power lines from Jinja run through a number of our villages; but due to paucity of funds, we are unable to purchase the necessary transformers that will enable such villages to tap into these power lines. The tea factory at Kisaru continues to burn wood fuel, farther depleting the bio-mass. X. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
The kingdom is making strides in imparting modern telecommunication and digital information technology skills to our youth. The first of these efforts is at the Bunyoro-Kitara Community Tele Centre, where basic computing skills are taught. There is a shortage of work stations, as there is a total of five computers. Donations of computing equipment will be gratefully accepted.
Another constraint is poor connectivity. We lack a portal to the Internet. Currently, there is a total of six ordinary telephone lines that link the town of Hoima to the rest of the world. The centre has to compete for space on these congested lines. We are fundraising for satelitte connectivity. When realized, the user community will offset the cost by paying for connectivity time. XI. KABALEGA EDUCATION FUND
H.M Omukama Cwa II Kabalega was taken captive on the 9th of April, 1899. The Kabalega Education Fund was promulgated to mark the Centennial anniversary of this significant milestone in our history. The purpose of the fund is to improve education standards in the kingdom. Performance standards, rates of student retention and graduation are at an all time low. Very few of our students are attaining academic excellence.
This fund will offer scholarships to gifted and needy students, enabling them to pursue lucrative academic and professional careers. It will also support our current efforts to publish books, especially in our mother tongue, Runyoro/Rutooro. Our school facilities, including buildings, classroom furniture, libraries, etc., are in dire need of upgrading. The fund will also help toward effecting the needed upgrades. We are appealing to all our friends to support this fund. XII. ADVOCACY FOR DEVELOPMENT PUBLICATIONS
The Kingdom has embarked on publishing literature to promote advocacy for development. The Omukama's office supports a biweekly newspaper in Runyoro/Rutooro called "Omwombeki". It is the only local newspaper in the Kingdom. It is read in Bunyoro and neighbouring Tooro. The current circulation is at 6000 and rising.
Through such publications, aimed at the grassroots people, we want to promote our culture and build a democratic consensus among the population. We also hope to raise the level of functional literacy in the community, and to encourage current awareness of political, social and cultural issues. Additional funding is needed to further the ideals of this effort. XIII. ROYAL COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
There is an acute shortage of manpower in the technology areas. This stems from the elitist education system Uganda inherited from the colonial times. When the country gained political independence in 1962, we woke up to realize that while we had an adequate supply of well educated Ugandans to fill white collar positions, there were hardly any Ugandans in the crucial areas of technology. This shortage of qualified personnel in the lower, middle and high technocrat cadres lingers on to this day.
The Omukama wants to start a Royal College of Technology in the subcounty of Kyabigambire, in the village of Kibugubya. This college will later develop into a university. The Omukama, himself a graduate of a British Polytechnic College, is keen to see young people acquire technical knowledge and skills that will accelerate industrial development in Bunyoro, and Uganda.
When the Royal College of Technology project gets off the drawing board, we will need support from our friends. Upon completion of the physical plant, large amounts of money will be needed to furnish and equip the College. Donations of money and equipment will be gratefully accepted. Foundation of the RCT