A Local farmer makes a significant contribution to the 2016 elections

It was first when DGF’s partner DENIVA and their member organisation Literacy Action and Development Agency (LADA) came to his community and conducted Voter Education that he realized the importance of voting:

Esau Rwamttooma, 35 years old, went from not caring about the 2016 elections, to playing a significant role in increasing the pool of electoral votes at his polling station in Mitooma, Rukungiri district.

At the 2011 elections, Esau did not care about voting. Like the rest of his community, he did not think it mattered. When he was offered money to vote for a specific candidate, he took the money without questioning. It was first when DGF’s partner DENIVA came to his community and conducted Voter Education that he realized the importance of voting:

“Before Voter Education, I did not know that my vote is my voice… I realized that it is the government that should provide service delivery such as health and education”.

Esau Rwamttooma

Esau Rwamttooma

Esau is a father of four children. When it occurred to him that he could give his children a better future by voting for a leader who would provide better conditions in his community, he decided to take action. However, he knew that his vote alone could not change much. With that motivation, he began mobilizing people in his community.

On his motorcycle, Esau went from door to door to organize citizens meetings, where he explained to his fellow citizens what he had learned during the Voter Education training. In the months before the elections, Esau organized 13 citizens meetings and mobilized around 300 people. Out of the 970 people who were registered to vote at Esau’s polling station, 740 people voted on the election day. This was twice as many as in the previous election in 2011.

However, Esau did not stop his interventions there. He wanted to make use of his vote. After the elections, he was determined to help other local farmers to improve their harvest and income level. He contacted the Department of Agriculture and the Community Development Officer (CDO) at sub-county level. He asked the local government officials to send technical staff like veterinarians and agricultural experts to train and support his fellow farmers. Esau is now very excited to see the results from the technical staff training.

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