On 12th July 1987 the world’s population reached the five billion mark. To acknowledge this, the United Nations designated this day World Population Day, to be observed annually. The commemoration of this day gives each UN member state an opportunity to take stock of the achievements made towards improving the quality population. This day has been used to highlight challenges that confront each country regarding its population concerns – and this is what we seek to do when celebrating World Population Day in Uganda each year.
DSW and World Population Day in Uganda
This year, DSW’s Uganda office participated in the “national” event was held in Sembabule district, outside Kampala. The overall theme for this year was “Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies”. For World Population Day in Uganda, we focused on the issue of “Transforming community transformation: Addressing the needs of vulnerable population.” The Population Secretariat was the lead Government Department for the preparation of this year’s WPD activities.
DSW participated in the National Preparatory meetings and in the National Pre-World Population Dialogue. Additionally we were active in the mobilisation of communities and young people in Sembabule and neighboring districts through our Youth Truck, and a Pre-World Population Day in Uganda Workshop and Exhibition. The Youth Truck carried out a one week mobilization and organizing of communities, health education in schools as well as distribution of information and education materials, as well as condoms.
DSW showcased our work on budget and policy review. The presentation highlighted the existing funding gap for family planning activities in local governments, and also showed how planning and budgeting at the national level affects districts allocation for Family Planning. The Local Council V Chairman of the Sembabule district noted that districts have been taking family planning as a donor/development partner issue. However, family planning should be incorporated into the district budgets and work plans.
World Population Day in Uganda – family planning at the local level
The presentation further provided insight to the situation on the nine districts of Sembabule, Masaka, Bukomansimbi, Lwengo, Rakai, Kalangala, Kalungu,Mpigi and Gomba. At the end of the workshop the relevant districts and the Population Secretariat signed a memorandum of understanding and financing; in this MoU, family planning was one of the interventions highlighted for improving quality population. This MoU was submitted to the president, who was the guest of honor.
World Population Day in Uganda – a visit from President Museveni
H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the outgoing UN General Assembly President H.E Sam Kuteesa made a stopover at DSW’s exhibition tent during their visit to the festivities. We explained our work to the President satisfaction. In his speech President Museveni emphasised that “it would be good to have a good number of children that have access to basic needs like food, quality education, good health and livelihood”. He further stressed health as one of the primary factor that is vital to have a quality population.