OUR MISSION
Assessment of Situation in Paduny Parish and Awach Sub-County in which the Latwong Village is Located.

Services Provided
. As of 2008 Paduny Parish had virtually no government support and had huge gaps in service delivery provided by NGOs.

General Access Conditions. While selected maintenance of roads and bridges is ongoing, regular maintenance remains spotty.

Security. As of 2008 many of the Special Police Constables initially deployed have dwindled due to desertions as a result of delay in salary disbursement and other problems. The presence of the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) is also being reduced. Currently, in 2010, at the national level the police are attempting to remedy its problems but admit there are serious problems at the local levels.

Durable Solutions Options and Return Trend. As of 2008 within the Awach sub-county most of the people, especially children, elderly, and extremely vulnerable individuals (EVI) were still in camps. In order to maintain family ties, most people who have returned always come back during week days to check on the remaining family members, and also over the weekend, children are taken to the return areas. Safe and clean water sources are urgently needed in most parishes. Increased support to health care providers like VHTs recommended. General food distribution recommended at parish level.

Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). Within the three sub-counties it is generally believed that women, children, and EVIs are at the greatest risk. The most common forms of violence being domestic violence, defilement, rape, verbal abuse, and psychological violence. In addition widows are being prohibited by the relatives of the deceased husbands from carrying out farming activities on the land left behind by their dead husbands. Some of the causes of violence reported were poverty, low levels of awareness of human rights by the communities, breakdown of social and moral values due to long periods of camp life, abuse of power and authority by the armed forces, and drunkenness among other factors.

The most citied challenge in dealing with GBV is police corruption. Police often demand money in order to respond, charge illegal fees, and are easily bribed. In many cases the police are poorly trained and equipped and often will not face criminals because they are not properly armed or trained in firearm use. Most people report GBV to their Local Counsel (LC), however because the LC is not properly trained the cases are poorly handled or terminated. The formal justice system is not popular with the communities because it is slow, costly, and general ignorance of the law. Because many of the local Health Centers are poorly staffed, trained, and provisioned, most GBV cases are referred to Gulu Hospitals resulting in traveling expenses for already burdened families. Often in cases of rape and defilement to minor girls of impoverished families, the parents accept bribes or pay-offs by the accused person's families, resulting in the withdrawal of cases.

The absence of safe drinking water is also a cause for concern. In some cases, women walk long distances to obtain clean water and this puts them at risk of being violently attacked or way laid.
The absence of schools in most return area sites is also a concern that increases the risk of children being abused sexually because either they are left to access better schooling facilities in camps without parental care, or they are forced to walk long distances to the return site schools.

The services available to GBV survivors are limited. Increased police presence and community sensitization are recommended as remedies for the prevalence of GBV at the parish level.

Child Protection Overview. Improved security and access to farm land are the main reasons why the majority of families have returned. Children were most often left behind in camps to attend camp schools which are lacking or long distances away from the return sites. Lack of or inadequate access to health centers and clean water, land wrangles, and other difficulties are other factors. Forced marriage, rape, child neglect, defilement and child labor are the most common forms of child abuse and exploitation reported. The underlying causes given are camp life, bad peer influence, poverty, lack of respect for parents, effects of divorce and separation of families, drug use by the youths and limited knowledge on child rights. The challenges in dealing with GBV apply to the abuse and exploitation of children.

Human Rights and Rule of Law. Human rights issues noted were excessive use of corporal punishment, housing, land and property rights, right to adequate shelter when returning, access to justice, juvenile justice, and the fulfillment of socio-economic rights in particular the right to education and water.

The requirement for payment of services, particularly by police, was a major obstacle to obtaining justice services for many people. The ease of police being bribed and setting free suspects without explanation was also a major concern.

Despite this, there was general agreement that the presence of the police at the sub-county level had a deterring effect on crime and it was strongly suggested that the police increase their presence at the parish level.

Health and Nutrition. According to the Ministry of Health, 75% of the disease burden in Uganda is preventable through improved hygiene and sanitation, vaccination against child killer diseases, good nutrition and other preventive measures such as use of condoms and insecticide treated nets (ITNs) for malaria. Health Promotion and Education and other health social marketing strategies promote disease prevention, uptake and utilization of services, care seeking and referral. Other players in service provision and promotion include media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and community structures such as the village health team (VHT). The MoH further stated that although 72% of households in Uganda live within 5km from a health facility (public or PNFP), utilization is limited due to poor infrastructure, lack of medicines and other health supplies, shortage of human resource in the public sector, low salaries, lack of accommodation at health facilities and other factors that further constrain access to quality service delivery.

As of 2008 within Paduny there is very good coverage of VHTs, however the delivery of health services is challenged by drug and supply shortages. The parish hosts the only functional health center (HCIV) in the county. It has trained staff on clinical management of sexual gender based violence (SGBV), HIV counseling and testing (HCT) and integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI). However, the facility has inadequate staff (36% of the norm), inadequate medical equipment and frequent shortages of drugs and supplies. The health center doesn't have a functional theatre and a maternity ward; hence, not in a position to provide emergency obstetric care and surgical services as per its standard. All the structures require major rehabilitation and additional construction of staff quarters. Mental health and psychosocial support are not available.

Heath management is hampered by frequent staff absenteeism and week interaction between the health system and local leaders. The VHTs are not being used to their maximum extent.

Because of the gaps in service at the sub-district level, poor worker performance and behavior, the demanding of "fees" for service, and long waiting periods, most people bypass the local health centers and go directly to the district and regional facilities often resulting in the case loads of these facilities exceeding their capacity.

Water Sanitation and Hygiene Situation. The majority of the protected water sources in the Paduny parish are located in the IDP camp. Approximately 34% of the population will have access to protected water sources within 1.5Km in the Awach sub-county upon full closure of the camps. Jerry cans are the most common containers used for water collection and storage. Most households have 2 containers. Available latrines are also concentrated in the IDP camps. In habitants of returned areas primarily use bushes for defecation. The communities ranked latrine construction last after the construction of shelter and cultivation. Lack of latrine digging tools is reported as the main constraint to construction of household latrines. Solid waste disposal is currently not considered as an issue of concern in the return areas.

Hygiene Practice. Most jerry cans used for collecting water are very dirty with coatings on the inside. They are not thoroughly washed before fetching water. Storage containers are cleaned mainly twice a week for families that use clay pots. Hand washing is practiced mainly before and after eating food but not after using latrines.

Situation in Primary Schools. Within the Awach sub-county, as of 2008 Wilul and Olel Primary Schools did not have any latrines. Gwengdiya and Paibona did not have separate latrines for boys and girls. Most schools did not have access to or used hand washing facilities. All of the schools in the Awach sub-county had access to protected water sources within 200 meters of the schools.

As of 2008 none of the return points had active
Water Source Committees (WSCs). WSCs are considered vital in the establishment of protected water sources and the continued operation and maintenance of the wells.

Food Security and Agricultural Livelihood. The land tenure arrangements within the Awach sub-county are 100% customary land ownership. Major factors influencing land use are land wrangles particularly related to boundary disputes and the fear of unexploded ordinance and mines.
Household Income. Within the Awach sub-county crop production, trading (women in small markets, charcoal, firewood, brooms, grasses for thatching houses) and shop (small kiosk), livestock and casual laborer are the major sources of household income. As of 2008 an average of 6% of the households owned livestock including: Chickens 25%, Ducks 5%, Pigeon 1%, Pigs 1%, Cattle 1%, Goats 10%, and Sheep 1%.

Agriculture Production Conditions. As of 2008 within the Awach sub-county household access to land ranged between an average of 8 to 15 acres with only 2 to 4 acres of the available land utilized for agriculture activities in the last planting season with the same number of acreage expected to be used in the second planting season. Most farmers use hand hoes and pangas and about 2% use oxen for land opening. The main food and cash crops grown are:

Food Crops: Ground Nuts, Millet, Cassava, Potatoes, and Pigeon Peas.
Cash Crops: Cassava, Ground Nuts, Rice, Tobacco (In small %), and vegetables.
Commonly Consumed: Beans, Millet, and Roots/Tubers.

As of 2008 the food situation in the Awach sub-county was generally normal. The average distance to the nearest market was 2 to 5 Kilometers and approximately 30 Kilometers to the Gulu main market.

Education. In 1997 the Government of Uganda introduced free universal primary education and in 2007 began introducing free universal secondary education. As of 2008 classes had resumed in all Awach sub-county schools however functionality was minimal at nearly all standards. This included a high rate of teacher absenteeism, inadequate classrooms, high pupil to teacher ratio, pupil desk rationing was high, pupil to latrine ratio was higher than the recommended 40:1, and low community involvement. According to the government as of 2010 overall nationwide enrollment in primary schools has grown from 5.3 million pupils to 8.5 million. An article in the Guardian posted on March 31, 2010 and written by Liz Ford stated "Increasing enrolment rates resulting from the introduction of the government's universal primary and secondary education programs have put 'enormous pressure' on the education system, which has resulted in a drop in standards, members of the parliamentary social services committee said in a report." The report further stated "But the increasing school rolls have not been matched with resources, despite ambitious government targets to cut the ratios of pupils to teachers, desks, and books." Given the information in the above article and recent photographs from schools in the area seem to indicate that the situation in Awach sub-county not only has not improved but may have gotten worse.

Governance, Infrastructure, and Livelihood. As of 2008 all sub-county, parish, and village level administration was in place, however, functioning at a dismal level. The general conclusions are that both the local governments and the community were suffering the effects of having relied on humanitarian assistance for too long. Huge challenges are faced by both government and community as they must reset their mindset from that of camp oriented dependency to that of a sustainable, self sufficient and functioning society.

Primary References.

Report of Durable Solutions Assessment of the three Sub-Counties: Bobi, Bungatira, Awach, Gulu District, Uganda, June 2008.

Health Sector Strategic Plan III (HSSP III).

Gulu District: Health Accessibility by Sub-County - April 2010.

Lanekatuk Memorial, Inc.
ASSESSMENT