By APN Reporter
The annual International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB)-Uganda convention in Kisoro district is underway amidst a low turn up from the region.
The convention which officially kicked off on Thursday morning with ecumenical prayers at Kisoro mayors gardens in Kisoro municipality is being attended by scores of participants from the region.
While leading the prayers, Rev. Stephen Ruzaze, the Muhabura Diocesan secretary prayed for unity amongst all people in the region so as to ensure development.
He also called on Banyakigezi to work together to solve the increasing negative effects of climate change in the region.
“September was a challenging month for us as Kigezi region. We lost lives of people, animals and property due to the heavy rains that we encountered. As the Banyakigezi, we have a role to help our people to adapt to better environmental protection practices,” said Ruzaze.
Dr. Francis Runuumi, the ICOB-Uganda chapter chairperson used the platform to rally residents in the region to advocate for improved service delivery in the region.
“Government has been promising us things but they keep in the pipeline for long. We need to show that as a haven of tourism in Uganda and the region as well, we deserve better roads, improved health care and better education for our people,” said Runuumi.
Runuumi also asked participants to fight for the correction of some grammatical errors in the languages of Banyakigezi that have been adapted as true vocabulary yet they do not represent the real grammar.
He asked Banyakigezi to combine efforts towards fighting malnutrition which is among the lead challenges in the region.
“It is sad to hear that Kisoro is among the leading districts in malnutrition in Uganda yet we consider this district as a food basket. There must be a problem that once properly identified can be solved together,” added Runuumi.
Dr. Munini Mulera, the ICOB president said that they are focusing on improving technical education for the betterment of youth in the region.
“We have so far mobilised support for Nyakatale technical institute, Kisoro technical institute, Uganda Martyrs technical institute and Kizinga technical school,” said Mulera.
Mulera also called upon people to support the region by dedicating their talents and skills towards its development.
Participants later went for a tree planting exercise at Rwerere Enterprises Community training centre.
Herbert Mugisha, the managing director HABA concepts Ltd and the team leader Kisoro Go Green campaign who is the developer of the centre said that they are aiming at proving employment opportunities and skills development for people near the virunga ranges.
“Through this centre we hope to make a museum that will be showcasing the culture of Banyakigezi and the neighbourhood. This Museum will be using materials from local people. We shall be organising cultural shows from the residents in the neighbourhood for tourists,” said Mugisha.
He added that the centre will also get trainers from various parts of the world to train locals in creative dancing, art and craft among others. The centre will also have an Information Communication and Technology Centre to help communities keep in touch with tourists who will be visiting the area.
Other key activities in the convention shall include a youth expo, nature walks, community enterprise talks, cultural performances and developmental lectures among others.