- KRC Marks 20 years Anniversary in style
- Fort Based Research Institution organizes marathon to raise funds to buy medical equipments
- 20 million raised
- Tens Awarded Medals of excellence
BY John Murungi Amooti
The bludgeoning sounds of the loud speakers filled the entire Mugurusi Road. The dancehall beats ebbed in well with the high tempo that meticulously opened,KRC@20 Marathon –ostensibly marking the weeklong activities to mark 20 years since the Fort Portal based Kabarole Research(KRC) was founded by a team of six University graduates
The marathon runners who came in from all walks of life had a purpose –it was well written on their jovial faces that they had come to not only run for their health but also support a noble cause of buying equipments for the Emergency and Accident Ward at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital.
The marathon had various race categories; 5KM, 10KM and the main race-21 Kilometers. The main race was won by Byamugisa a seasoned national runner who posted his personal best of 48 Minutes, and also won the top prize of 500,000. Ruoyndo Sheila the only female participant to finish the 21 Kilometer race was also awarded 500,000
After the marathon, the chief guest at the function Mr. Robert Isabalija, the Permanent Scretary Ministry of Energy, officially opened the KRC 102 FM. The now two year old radio station is arguably the only Farmers voice in the entire Rwenzori Region. It was started by KRC after realizing a missing gap in the programming of exisiting radios that don’t prioritize farmers content.
Thereafter, Participants thronged the Green belt on Mugurusi road for the Health Week. The Week had a wide range of services, including inter alia; Male circumcision, HIV testing and counseling, Cervical Cancer screening and blood donation. It also had exhibition of sustainable food diets
The health week ended with a Kabarole District health debate where a number of persons, political leaders and health officials deliberated on the status of the sector in the district.
In his key note address, the Fort portal area Member of Parliament Hon. Alex Ruhunda used the event to challenge the local population to live responsible health behaviors as a way of planning well for their future and generations to come.
According to Ruhunda, people should get concerned of the changing global dynamics and have positive mindsets Hon Alex Ruhunda, fort portal area MP pushed for local governments to spear head the ban against selling sacket alcohol as was recently proposed by the parliament.
Hon Ruhunda also asked youths to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS while assuring them that they are people of a higher integrity in the near future.
Speaking during the health debate, Augustine Mutabali working with Rwenzori Anti-corruption Coalition (RAC), presented that health facilities in Kabarole district are still lacking adequate medical care services.
He explained that current health centers are poorly equipped with staff, drugs, absenteeism of health workers, and theft of drugs as well as abuse of patients.
Meanwhile, Asimwe steven the Kabarole Resident District Commissioner [RDC] challenged residents over the increasing change diet which has given birth to so many diseases in their bodies.The outspoken RDC made the remark while speaking during the debate.
As part of the celebrations KRC also launched institutional energy saving cook stoves in 4 schools along with tree planting in same schools where 800 tree seedlings were given by KRC as part of the 1 milllion tree planting campaign.
The launch took place in 4 different districts in the Rwenzori Region: Kahunge Model Primary School in Kamwenge district, King Solomon’s College Kyatega in Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo Secondary School in Kyenjojo and Bumadu Seed Secondary School in Bundibugyo.
The institutional energy saving cook stoves and tree planting are part of a climate change Synergy project supported by the Belgian partner organization Broederlijk Delen (BD) and as well as part of the KRC 20 years celebrations. Mohammed Shariff, Deputy Director KRC represented the institution at the launch :
Hitherto to the KRC intervention the 4 schools supported were using the traditional 3-cooking stones-stoves to prepare meals for the students whose fuel consumption is exceptionally high. For intance King Solomon’s College in Kyegegwa uses 43 to 45 trucks fire wood per term. Bihunirwa Medius, Head of Farmer Enterprise Development Unit, KRC is committed to kick out 3 cooking stones stoves out of schools.
KRC also gave out 200 seedlings to each school for planting on their compound. Medius says that the relationship between the energy saving cook stoves and the tree planting is very important and necessary for students to understand the whole effect of climate change
The KRC at 20 celebrations were crowned with big Local Diets Feast at green and later a sumptuous dinner hosted at Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Fort Portal. The Dinner was the climax of the week long celebrations, and was graced by Hon Tom Butiime, the Minister of Local Government. The dinner drew over 250 KRC partners, donors, farmers, elders and citizens. The KRC support of 20 million, grossed from the proceeds of the marathon was also give out to the Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital for the purchase of oxygen concentrator and wheel chairs
Honorable Butiime hailed KRC for transforming people the Rwenzori sub region to be in position realizing middle income by 2020.He also challenged the youth present to emulate Hon Ruhunda, who at the age of 24 led his colleagues to start a Research Centre instead job hunting on the streets, like most youth are doing
Dozens of Awards and Certificates were also given out to exemplary and outstanding individuals and institutions
The Awardees included; KRC founders, Hon. Alex Ruhunda, and the Late Fr. Albert Byaruhanga(post humously), KRCBoard members, Community Process Facilitators, exemplary Citizens, Exemplary farmers and long serving staff one Basaija Joseph
While handing over the Cheque to the Hospital Administration led by Dr Olara Charles and Dr Richard Mugahi, the Kabarole District Health Officer, the Executive Director Kabarole research and Resource Centre KRC, Mr Mwanga Julius called for increased government funding of the Health sector and not entirely depend on donor funds.
He decried the the ratio of doctors to patients which is still high at 1:24,000 and 1:11,000 for nurses respectively.
Dr Olaro, appealed to the public to donate blood and use road safely due to the increased number of accidents on highways that has claimed lives of people.
According to Mwanga, the issue of power transition has become a point of concern in the society and believes should there be no smooth transfer of instruments; the country is likely to go into a state of anarchy.
The executive director observed that the cultural and tribal conflicts which are still high in the region need collective efforts to address.
The Kabarole district chairperson Richard Rwabuhinga who spoke on behalf of the other local leaders present also praised Hon Alex Ruhunda for having stepped aside after nurturing other members of Senior Management .
Mr. Mwanga’s comments on the transfer of power came at a time when the bishop of Rwenzori diocese Rt Rev Reuben Kisembo recently made the same call to the president of Uganda to peacefully hand over power upon his expiry of his term of office