By John Unzima
Moyo. The government has been challenged to improve on rural communication especially in Obongi County, Moyo district in order to enable the country compete and benefit from the East African integrated market.
Speaking during the Obongi Day celebrations, the MP for Obongi County, Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, said: if remote counties like Obongi are connected to proper communication network their participation in the East African Community will greatly be enhanced.
“You (government) have rolled out free internet to people in Kampala, but here we are still in analog age,” Fungaroo said.
The ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze and other MPs and FDC President, Mugisha Muntu upon arrival in Obong. Photo by John Unzima
But the Minister for information and communication technology, Frank Tumwebaze while speaking at the annual Obongi day celebrations on Saturday.
Tumwebaze was responding to request made by Obongi County MP Hassan Fungaroo, said government is committed to improving rural communication in the county.
Tumwebaze said his ministry has already written to all MPs to identify area in their constituencies with communication network challenges.
The ICT minister said they intervene in such cases through rural communication development fund under Uganda communication commission.
But also urged the MPs to support his Ministry by approving reasonable Budget since part of the rural communication funding has taken for consolidated fund.
The Ombaci satellite that is still used for communication. Photo by Editor
Obongi day is an initiative of the people of the County aimed at dialoging on the development challenges of the county.
Dan Kidega the speaker of East African legislative assembly while speaking at the function urged the people of northern Uganda to be productive.
“The question is not only connecting you to Arusha but also what you bring to Arusha as the people of Obongi,’’ Kidega said.
The speaker of the East African Parliament as also said northern Uganda is suffering from economic dislocation which needs to be realigned.
The leaders also during the event called for focused leadership blind to political party colors to spur development in the rural Uganda and denounced bad governance.
The Forum for Democratic Change Party President, Mugisha Muntu, urged the government to deliver on its pledges to the taxpayers. “The people are our masters, we in leadership are servants so we must serve them,” Muntu said.
Winnie Kizza the leader of opposition in the parliament said people must unit regardless of political affiliations to improve livelihood of the people.
The ministers also pledged to revamp Obongi Airstrip at Lomunga and work on Kiya-Kiya Bridge connecting Obongi to Lower Madi County in Arua district.
Obongi County in Moyo district is comprised of three Sub-counties of Gimara, Aliba and Itula while meeting leaders of West Nile recently President Museveni pledged a district status by 2019.
This year’s Obongi day is marked under the theme “Linking Obongi to Arusha with good roads, internet and Air transport.”
An Eagle Air plane at Arua airfield. Photo by Editor
What locals say
“Obongi has been isolated for long so this day is to remind the people of Obongi home and outside young old and the government about holistic development of Obongi as we strive to achieve district status.”
Abdul Malik Razak
“The theme is in line with our aspiration, we have made a demand and we expect the government to listen, and we call upon the people of Obongi to be hard working to achieve these goals.”