YUMBE. The 2019 regional Music, Dance and Drama (MDD) festival for primary schools in the West Nile region concluded with the call to support MDD activities in schools.

The festival that ran from Saturday to Sunday at Praford hotel in Yumbe town drew 15 school choir groups from 11 districts and municipalities across the region.

The event was marked under the theme: "Malaria free school and environment gives good health to enhance the child's quality learning for sustainable development through mass action against malaria."

All the different choir groups participated in activities such as the western piece, instrumental composition, sight singing, drama, poem, storytelling, original composition, traditional dance, folk song, and creative dance.

Ms Florence Lagua, the regional MDD chairperson for West Nile region said they have been facing a lot of challenges from the time they were elected in 2017.

"Since our election in 2017, we had the first festival in Adjumani but only 3 choir groups participated. Last year, we were in Maracha, only 5 choir groups turned up but all went well. This year, Yumbe was blessed that 15 choir groups participated and we want the number to rise in next year's festival to be hosted by Zombo district", she said.

"We want the schools that will represent West Nile region in the national event to be held in Gulu to struggle and see what other people are doing because our standard has not reached the national level much as am happy that we are coming up", Lagua added.

Mr John Angulibo, the Yumbe district inspector of schools was impressed with the presentations by the different choir groups.

''I’m impressed to see that children can come up with such innovations when guided. I want to appreciate the teachers who took the initiative to train the children to come up with such performances," he said.

Angulibo noted that this year’s festival should be an eye-opener to other schools to take MDD very seriously like any other co-curricular activities such as ball games and athletics.

Mr Faustine Adima, a lecturer at Muni national teachers’ college (NTC) who also adjudicated at the festival encouraged team spirit among the stakeholders in the West Nile region if MDD is to get to a higher level.

Meanwhile, Mr Stephen Edema Budra, the deputy chief administrative officer for Maracha district said some of the children in the region have talents in MDD which should be promoted.

At the end of the competition, Awidiri primary school emerged the champion followed by Oasis primary school.

Arua Public primary school took the third position while Padwot primary school in Nebbi was the fourth and all are to represent the West Nile region in the national event.