ARUA. Fathers in Katrini Sub-county Arua district have petitioned the government and civil society organizations operating within the district over what they said is increasing cases of absentee mothers and child neglect in the area.

Others are early and child marriages, increase in night market operations by women, high rates of child labour as well as the increasing rate of drug abuse by women which they claimed has increased HIV/AIDS prevalence and domestic violence.

This was during a belated Father’s day celebrations at Katrini sub-county headquarters under the theme “engaging fathers in child care as a way of reducing violence against children” on Thursday.

Mr Tom Borua, the chairman elders association of Katrini Sub County who presented the petition said the event was timely because there are some mothers, guardians or caregivers who have taken advantage of the situation not to play their parental role as mothers.

“Today, fathers are experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse from their spouses yet culture does not favour them to report due to the shame associated with it. This kind of violence extends to children hence causing adverse effects on their emotional psychological health and nutritional needs”, the petition reads in part.

The petitioners want the district to fasten the process of disseminating the alcohol control Ordinance 2018 so as to regulate the consumption of sachet waragi that they said is killing women in Katrini Sub County.

They also want Katrini sub-county to regulate the operations of night markets that they said have ruined lives of most mothers as they no longer have time for their children and Arua district to recognise Father’s day as a known district event.

Arua deputy resident district commissioner Ms Alice Akello Apio who received the petition on behalf of the government apologised on behalf of the women.
“I want to apologise on behalf of the women because I know that sometimes we (women) have failed you, I apologise”, she stated.

Ms Alice Akello 28 06 19Ms Alice Akello appends her signature on a petition by the fathers. PHOTO BY CLEMENT ALUMA.

But she also appealed to the men not to resort to alcohol consumption however much their wives might stress them because they will be ruining their lives.

The project coordinator of Prevention + project at Reproductive health Uganda Mr Sam Muwandara said celebrating Father’s day is a platform that can be used to remind and engage the men that they need to play a role to help young people avoid issues of gender-based violence and take the lead in the prevention of GBV.

Mr Nelson Candia, the sub-county vice chairman decried the high rated of domestic violence in the area which he attributed to high rates of alcohol consumption among women and men,