In its efforts to take services nearer to the people, Uganda Human Rights Commission recently opened a field office in Buvuma District to cater for people who live on the many scattered islands on Uganda’s biggest water body, Lake Victoria.
The function which was presided over by the Buvuma Resident District Commissioner MrRichard Gulume was attended by the Secretary to the Commission (UHRC) Mr Gordon Mwesigye and the local government officials and politicians.
Speaking at the function, the RDC MrGulume appreciated the Commission’s efforts to avail services to the masses. He however noted that the district was still lacking in several human rights aspects like education and requested the Commission to take up the issue regarding the right to education.
He revealed that there is only one secondary school catering for the whole population scattered on 52 islands constituting the district. “We have 10 subconties but three of these do not have even a single primary school when the government policy is that there should be at least one secondary schoolin every sub-county,” he noted.
The secretary to the Commission Mr Gordon Mwesigye assured the residents who had apart from witnessing the opening ceremony attended a human rights baraza that the Commission is committed to ensuring that all Ugandans are sensitized and empowered about their rights before they can enjoy them to the full.
The UHRC Central region office Wilfred Asiimwe under whose jurisdiction Buvuma field office falls said that the need to establish the office arose out of its unique location , scattered population and poor infrastructure. He said ‘When we were here at the end of last year, the residents expressed the dire need of our services. We promised to deliver and I am glad that we are now delivering on our promise.”
The mayor of Buvuma Town Council MrMulangira decried the high rate of HIV infection which he reported to be at 17%, noting that was higher than what isreported in most parts of the country.
Talking about security and crime rate, the DPC Rogers Chebensaid that there is a very alarming vacuum in respect of delivery of justice due to lack of a resident court and magistrate. He reported that the magistrate’s court sits only twice a month and this compounded the problem of handling and containing crime in the area.
Apart from Buvuma, the Commission has other nine field offices in Kalangala, Moyo, Kitgum, Pader and Lira. Others are in Kaberamaido, Kapchorwa, Nakapipirit, and Kotido.
Like other field offices ,Buvuma which is manned by two staff reports directly to Central regional human rights offices located in Ntinda Kampala.
The Commission has since its establishment in 1997, put up 10 regional offices in different areas of the country.