By Lutwama Muhammed, ACTogether Uganda
Savings schemes in Mbale, Uganda, were first established earlier this year. Earlier this month, the Federation decided that it would be important to sensitize informal settlement communities on issues related to hygiene and sanitation.
They engaged the municipality of Mbale, to work together on a city-wide activity that involved cleaning trenches, collecting garbage, and door-to-door sensitization and mobilization in the slum settlements of Namataala, Kikyaafu, Namakweeke, Nkoma, and Mission, among others. All of these activities were done in conjunction with municipal officials (the mayor, senior assistant town clerk and the coordinator of the Cities Alliance-funded program for the Transformation of Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda from 15-17 May.
This development reflects the strength of the Federation in mobilizing communities, as well as the willingness by the municipal council to work with the poor communities in transforming their living environment. The mayor, in her speech to the participants, thanked the members for coming up with such wonderful initiatives that complement the work of the municipality. She added that each division has a municipal town agent but that such functionaries were not in a position to identify the sanitation challenges as the federation did in just 3 days.
The Mbale federation is growing stronger and the membership is increasing significantly. So far they have a total membership of 1324 members with 1019 members who are female. Total savings is 4,066,7550 Ugandan Shillings. The Federation members have already constituted committee representatives who meet once every month at regional level (city level), twice at network level and weekly at saving scheme level.