• Civic engagement triggers quick response to fix Rugombe–Kyarusozi Road

Story compiled by: Kihumuro Ainebyona | 12th November 2020

Photos: (1)Before upgrading (2) During upgrading (3) After upgrading

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KRC’s Civic Education program continues to bear fruit in Kyenjojo District. In Kyarusozi Sub County in particular, the citizens have been awakened from civic inertia to demand improvement in the road infrastructure of the area.

One of the many cases that stand out in the last quarter of 2020 is the upgrading of Rugombe–Kyarusozi Road. After all diplomatic avenues demanding the upgrade of this road stretch were exhausted, and with little regard from their local leaders, the people of the area rose up to peaceful demonstration.

The Rugombe–Kyarusozi Road is one case representing the bigger problem. The roads in the area are in a sorry state, with wide and deep potholes and gullies created by runoff. The roads lack proper drainage systems and culverts. Due to the nature of the soil, the road would get so slippery during the rainy season.

The impassable roads stagnate the development of the local economy while expectant mothers fail to get access to health services. These are sad issues that ignited the people of Kyarusozi Sub County to their take civic responsibility to another level and protest the indecisiveness of leaders to act in time.

The stimuli to this action has been the protracted face the citizens campaigns by KRC’s Governance and Policy Advocacy work in the 43 sub counties in which the Civic Education program is being implemented.

During the face the citizens’ rallies, the sorry state of the Rugombe–Kyarusozi Road was always on the agenda, presented to the leaders but little did the people of the community know that the leaders were never interested in the matter.

Nevertheless, this was also the opportune moment for the Change Agents, Community Process Facilitators (CPFs) and the community to display the knowledge and confidence imparted in them by KRC’s civic education facilitators. It was a time to put to use all lawful means guaranteed by the Constitution of Uganda to demand accountability. The community, mobilized by the CPFs and Change Agents chose to stage a peaceful demonstration to push harder their demands. This mass action that dully complied with security guidelines was honored by police and it attracted the local leaders to take immediate action on the road.

Two days later, after the demonstration, the construction of the road started. Road construction equipment from the District Road Unit were deployed and work was started. As of now, the road has been worked upon with first class muram, culverts have been put, and the drainage system improved.

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Kabarole Research & Resource Centre

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