RWAMAGANA -The Governor of the Eastern Province, Dr. Ephraim Kabaija, has said there is need to carry out comprehensive evaluations of the activities of most Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), so as to determine their impact on the socio-economic conditions of the people.
Dr. Kabaija and mayors in the province were yesterday, meeting leaders of NGOs operating in the area in part to streamline working relationships.
He said that NGOs and local leaders have to come up with innovative approaches in combating poverty and the general welfare of the population.
Kabaija noted that there was need for stakeholders to harmonise development activities, so that the significant gaps, yet to be fulfilled in achieving the province’s development goals are plugged.
“Our activities should embrace various fields of development, largely geared towards alleviating poverty and promoting sustainable development,” he said.
Kabaija also challenged NGOs to make sure that the money meant to serve the population is not swindled by their staff and do nothing.
“A situation where working in an NGO is considered as a lucrative opportunity, for people to enrich themselves should not be tolerated. This betrays your cause and is a great disservice to the population,” he added.
Louis Rwagaju, the Mayor of Bugesera, reiterated the importance of coordinating the activities of NGOs, to match the needs of the population.
He said there are areas that should be given priority whenever any development concerns crop up.
“The work of NGOs could impact more if they based on the districts’ highlighted needs. For instance, very few NGOs will invest in infrastructure development…this is our main area of concern and not the insubstantial programmes most of them carry out,” he said.
Vincent Okello, the ADRA Programme Manager in the province, said serving the welfare of the people, needs a holistic approach that inevitably calls for partnering with district authorities.
“The needs of districts are volatile, which is why NGOs must start at the grassroots level. Unfortunately, in some cases, the interests of donors conflict with those of the districts,” he observed.
The one-day meeting was attended by over 65 representatives of NGOs.