Watershed empowering citizens programme delivers improvements in the governance and management of water, sanitation and hygiene services as well as of the water resources on which they draw.The programme does this at the international level and in Uganda, Kenya, and four additional countries by strengthening the capacity of national civil society to lobby government and other WASH duty bearers. This is leading to measurable improvements in the quality and sustainability of WASH services in these countries. Caritas – HEWASA is an implementing partner of the Watershed empowering citizens Programme in Uganda.
TRAC FM worked closely with the Caritas – HEWASA, and IRC to create effective talk-show formats and at the same time prepared short radio scripts to guide the radio host and guests on the issues. Soliciting community voices in priority setting for the 2020/21 Budgeting Process is important to their inclusion and participation in the way the way leaders respond to their needs. Wottazela literally means the “Voice of Water”. It is an innovative way of raising the voices of the voiceless, the marginalized, and socially excluded through providing a platform on which they can privately and or publicly participate and have their voices heard and counted in decision making.
For Wottazela 5.0 to make a meaningful impact on the people of the Rwenzori sub-region, the listeners needed to be taken from passive to active engagement about water, sanitation, and hygiene activities including the making of the budget. Wottazela 5.0 goal was soliciting community voices into priority setting for the 2020/21 Budgeting Process. In order to realise it, one of the aims was to amplify citizen voices by promoting the key talking points important to the community including the radio listeners, poll participants, district leaders, civil society, and religious leaders among other stakeholders.
By raising citizen awareness of the poll results, it was assumed that citizens would be inspired to achieve better WASH facilities – enough to better their livelihoods. The polls empowered Caritas Fort Portal – HEWASA participation and advocacy since they will have more knowledge of the facts, the ability to use the poll information and the reinforcement of the poll data messages on the key aspects of WASH. During the debate, the listeners had the opportunity to phone in to demand WASH priorities in the budget which they deem important to their livelihoods. Radio Jubilee in Fort Portal moderated the debates based on the poll results and accurate information – in effect activating passive citizens into active participants in public debate through interactive radio.