Monday, September 11, 2006

Action Aid Get on Board arrives

EDGAR R. BATTE
Rakai
Action Aid International's Get on Board team has arrived in Uganda to re-launch its anti-poverty campaign. The team arrived aboard their branded mini bus on Friday through Mutukula, Uganda's border with Tanzania. AAI-Uganda Director of programming Specioza Kiwanuka, country coordinator Amanda Sserumaga and Rakai district LC5 Chairman Vincent Semakula Settuba received the team.The bus has been on a two-week tour in some African countries, having started in South Africa. The team is here to share with communities the results of their 2005 anti poverty campaign. "This year we are taking stock and reporting back to the communities, informing them of the outcome of the G8 summit," AAI-Uganda Communications Officer Rebecca Musoke told Daily Monitor. In May last year, the AAI team drove a mini bus 12,000 miles across Africa to Scotland, collecting messages, stories and voices across the continent to take to the G8 leaders at the Gleneagles Summit.The bus will be visiting a number of local communities in Uganda, trading anti poverty messages and collecting views on debt cancellation and poverty alleviation.Areas to be visited include Rakai, Kalangala, Lira, Gulu, Kampala, Bwaise, Entebbe, Soroti, Kapchorwa, Masindi, Kabelabiong and Katakwi. While addressing a gathering during the team's arrival at Mutukula customs grounds, Settuba, who was the chief guest at the welcoming function, said HIV/Aids and high poverty levels were the biggest problems affecting the people of Rakai district. He said the HIV/Aids infection percentage stands at 12, and that as a result, the district has suffered a setback in production levels and increased dependency level by over 45,000 orphans.Settuba echoed a call against deprivation and hunger in the area, which he said, were major millennium development goals.Ms Serumaga said there was key need for community-based participation in the campaign drives as a preliminary stage in creating pressure to the G8 countries to answer the Africa call.

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