JOY FOR CHILDREN UGANDA
REPORT FOR THE BUDGETING PROCESS OF THE ACTION PLAN TO END CHILD MARRIAGES IN BUTALEJA DISTRICT
HELD ON 29TH AUGUST 2016
AT BUTALEJA DISTRICT HEADQUATER
CHILD MARRIAGES IN BUTALEJA DISTRICT
Uganda is one African country with a high rate of child marriages/child brides. It holds the eleventh position in Africa with 46% of girls of 18 years forced or lured in marriages. According to UNFPA, the prevalence of child marriages is highest in the Northern region at 59%, followed by Western region at 58%, Eastern Uganda at 52% with Kampala having the lowest rate at 21%.
Butaleja district is among the top 5 districts in Uganda with a high rate of child marriages/brides in the Eastern region at 46% Most of these girls drop out of school due reasons like poverty, poor performance among other and get married at an early age.
Early marriages and the resultant pregnancies are the biggest causes of deaths in 15-19year old girls accounting to 20% of maternal deaths in Uganda,those who survive pregnancies suffer lasting complications like fistula and disability, (UNICEF-2014). Ending child marriages in Africa especially Uganda requires the efforts and commitments of every stake holders, including parliamentarians, district leaders, religious leaders, academia, private sector, etc.
It’s due to this brief background that in 2015, Joy for Children Uganda embarked on a process to support Butaleja district local government to bring together all different stakeholders in the district to develop an action plan to implement/address issues related to ending child marriages in the district. After conducting of different activities from community level to high level district engagements, an action plan to end child marriages was developed with clear activities and implementation strategies.
Joy for Children Uganda convened another meeting with technical planning team of the district to critically review the action plan and budget for the suggested activities for a time frame of 5 years.
Outcomes of the Meeting
The meeting was chaired by CAO who welcomed members to the meeting and highlighted about relevance of attending the meeting which was to review the available action plan and draft a budget for it in a period of 5 year targeting it to be approved by the district council so as to increase the opportunity for resource mobilization by the district. After the 5 years the action plan will be reviewed and progress will be tracked. He thanked the Joy for Children Uganda for funding the campaign to end child marriages in the district and the district.
He highlighted that as a department of community development and probation office there is still increasing numbers of young girls getting married so young girls who drop out of school end up suffering very many consequences.
He informed members that the district in a long time had no clear implementation funded plan to address child marriages and this has made it difficult to eradicate the problem.
He noted that JFCU has come up with a campaign to support the district to end child marriages and the process begun with development of the action plan.
This process has been consultative from community level, meeting with different groups and stakeholders who came up with the available draft of the action plan. He thanked JFCU for the wonderful work, and committed to work together with the partners to implement this action plan.
He emphasized that, there is need to encourage our community members to support the programs to end Child Marriages and Teenage pregnancies amongest heads of different departments in the district. He also urged participants to keep sensitizing the community especially parents.
He said that the issue of Early Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy is everyone’s responsibility which cannot therefore be left to only, Joy for Children, Girls Not Brides and other partners.
He requested participants to have the budgeting process done as quickly as possible to enable the sect oral committee to organize the order paper as soon as possible before the council convenes.
Budgeting for the Action Plan
The action plan was reviewed by the participants and the budget was attached against every implementation activity. Both a one year implementation plan and a 5year implementation plan were designed.
Secretarial Committee Meeting
As a requirement and procedure by the local government regarding approval of district plans, after the technical input in the budgeting of the action plan, the secretarial committee meeting was convened to digest and prepare the action plan to be approved by the council. The meeting happened on 6th September 2016 at the district headquarters.
The action plan was therefore digested and the committee nominated the Minister of gender to Hon. Beatrice Namunyole to present the action plan before the council when they convene.
See the budgeted action plan attachment.
Key Issues From the Budgeting Process
Members of the secretarial committee pointed out a need to construct a rehabilitation center that would accommodate victims of child marriage to give counseling and rehabilitation services. This was proposed to be discussed with different stake holders in the first quarterly review meeting.
District ordinances and by laws
Members suggested a district ordinance to the council on child marriage and supporting all the sub counties to pass by laws on child marriages.
Change in the action plan
Technical planning team highlighted that the action plan can be amended whenever necessary based on the availability of resources and nature of implementation.
- The council was postponed to convene on 16th September 2016 when we expect the action plan to be approved.
- The secretarial committee requested for facilitation from the Ministry of gender and secretarial committee during the presentation of the action plan to the council for approval.