27 January 2013

Uganda: Resident Blocks Budaka Maternity Ward Over House

A Budaka resident has blocked the operation of a maternity ward there over the district's failure to build him a house.

Yusuf Muluga, a resident of Lyama Sub-county, had donated his land for the construction of a maternity ward, in exchange for the district using a portion of the land to build a residential house for him. According to Muluga, the agreement was such that the district constructs both the ward and his house at the same time so he can move into his new home as the health facility gets ready.

The Shs 106m maternity ward, built to accommodate 20 mothers, is ready although Muluga's house is yet to be completed. Now an angry Muluga has refused to give access to the health centre III.

"Over my dead body, I will not allow them [district officials] to open that ward

until they have completed my house as well," he warned. "These people do not appreciate; how can I offer all that land for just a small house and they fail to build it for me?"

About four expectant mothers walk 3km from Lyama to Budaka health centre to deliver on a daily basis, according statistics from the district health office. Budaka district Health Officer Sam Wajega admitted that they had an agreement with Muluga but that it was between him and the sub-county and not the district.

He explained that the agreement was made on the expectation that the sub-county would raise the Shs 6m required to build Muluga's house from local revenue, although this has failed. Wajega said they were considering diverting some of the non conditional grants meant for other activities in the sub county to give Muluga his house so the health centre becomes operational soon.

He explained that the new ward at Lyama was meant to reduce the burden on Budaka health centre, which is now congested.

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