In a bid to improve the safety of journalists, media houses in Rwenzori sub region, on Wednesday 20th, received protective gears with a call to put them to their intended journalistic use.
Pauline Okoth, the media Specialist with Freedom House under USAID/Uganda Rights & Rule of Law Program while delivering the protective gears to the beneficiaries said that Kasese is a conflict prone.
She revealed that Freedom House was much concerned with the security of the journalist while covering in chaotic situations citing Rwenzori among the most at risk region.
“The protective gears are to help most field journalists covering sensitive situation, therefore, media institutions need to ensure protection of the equipments and their staff security,” Pauline stressed.
The distribution of the protective gears took place at Messiah radio chapel hall in Kasese town and among the beneficiaries included, Messiah radio, light FM and Umbrella for Journalist in Kasese (UJK).
Formerly, Pascal Opio of digital protective initiative said the protective equipments aim at protecting journalists from live bullets and penetrating objects.
Enid Ninsiima, the Vice Chairperson Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda (HRNJ-U) appreciated efforts of Freedom House to have the protective gears delivered to the journalists.
“These protective gears need to be well guarded and used in the right place,” Enid stressed.
She further underscored the need for media houses in the Rwenzori region to improve on the capacity of the staff if they are to have quality output.
“The environment we are working in now is very fragile; we need a lot of tactics to survival. I would be happy to see these media houses that have received, add on these because they are not enough, what if we have an incident this way and an incident that way and we need to share the gadgets” Enid asserted.
Rev. Solomon Badaki, the Manager Messiah Radio asked the deploying officers at radio stations and media institutions to discourage their staff from self-deployment if they are to have their security maintained.
“We are always getting challenges out of journalists who deploy themselves. So if we can mind about the security of journalists, they are many problems now days, this kidnapping they will jut carry you and you failure where you went. The self-deployment should end now that we are security conscious” Badaki narrates.
He called on the benefiting media houses to always identify their members in the field in order to solve the problem of field congestion
Among the received equipment was a helmet, body armour jackets and armour plates for the security and protection of journalists from live bullets and other sharp elements.