The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has tasked the Public Service and Local Governments Committee of parliament to ascertain whether Daycare Centers exist at the newly built markets and how they are used.
In June 2015, Parliament approved a Shillings 268 billion loan request to facilitate the construction of eleven markets across the country over a period of five years.
The loan from the African Development Bank (ADB) was to finance phase 2 of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme (MATIP 2). Government borrowed the second loan, saying the USD 68.5million (Shillings 223 billion Shillings) secured under MATIP 1 was insufficient to facilitate the planned construction of the 26 markets across the country due to variations in the design at the review stage, which increased the cost of construction.
By the time parliament approved the loan, only seven markets including that of Lira, Jinja, Mbale, Wandegeya, Hoima, Gulu and Mpanga had been completed according to the report by the National Economy committee. The markets that required construction under the second phase included the one in Entebbe (Kitoro), Masaka, Mbarara, Arua, Moroto (Lopedur), Soroti, Tororo, Kasese, Busia municipalities and Kitgum and Lugazi town councils.
In her communication to the plenary on Tuesday afternoon, Kadaga said that while approving funds for the markets, the House resolved that they should have daycare facilities to enable parents in the market keep their children safe. “I was disappointed to learn that in Gulu market, the daycare center was converted into an office of Uganda Registration Services Bureau –URSB. We think this is really wrong, it means that mothers have nowhere to keep their children,” she said.
She then directed that an audit of the new markets ensure that a policy decision by parliament was taken and whether the daycare facilities exist.
Last month it was reported that the child care center at Gulu Main Market had failed to operate four years after the facility was commissioned. This is the same situation at several other new markets.
The child care center were envisaged to host children below school-going age who are not allowed to spend long hours with their parents in the markets and protect the children from harm like fire.
The centre in the Gulu main market with the capacity of more than 20 pre-school going children is occupied by Uganda Registration Services Bureau – URSB, a semi-autonomous government agency responsible for civil registrations.
Do you want to share a story, comment or opinion regarding this story or others, Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel/WhatsApp........0726054858