Education, Priests Welfare Top Priorities for New West Nile Bishop Top story

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In short
New Madi and West Nile bishop has highlighted improved quality of education, protecting the environment and welfare for the clergy as some of his key priorities. Bishop Charles Collins Andaku says he also plans to put the idle church land into productive use for the benefit of the diocese.

New Madi and West Nile bishop has highlighted improved quality of education, protecting the environment and welfare for the clergy as some of his key priorities.
  
Bishop Charles Collins Andaku says he also plans to put the idle church land into productive use for the benefit of the diocese.
  
Consecrated on Sunday, Bishop Andaku says he is ready to step up to the challenges of leading the largest Anglican diocese in the country.
  
Calm and composed, the 50-year-old bishop hopes his past experience as a teacher and a leader will help him to improve the conditions within the diocese and make it a better place than what he inherited from His predecessor, Bishop Joel Samson Obetia.
  
The diocese comprises eleven archdeaconries, 169 parishes and over 900 churches. The diocese takes seven of the nine districts of West Nile and now home to the largest refugee community in the country.
  
Bishop Andaku says with this vast size of the diocese comes challenges of managing both the human and non-human resources. He mentions encroachment on on the diocesan land, moral decay among the youths, the declining quality of education and environmental destruction as some of the tasks he will confront.
  
On education, he says he will work hard to improve both the quality and quantity of teaching and learning. Bishop Andaku also says he will construct model technical schools and secondary school for girls. Currently Muni Girls' Secondary School is the only church-founded girl's school in the diocese. Andaku says though both formal and non formal means of education, he hopes to improve the quality of learning in the diocese.
  
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He says he will engage the government and the private sector to improve the education standards in the region.
  
Bishop Andaku also says being in the region that has seen the impact of tobacco growing taking a toll on the tree cover, he will ensure that every Christian at least plants three trees annually. He says this will help in reforestation and conserving the environment. He says this can only be achieved through collaboration with government agencies.
  
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He also took the issue of poor facilitation of the clergy as a concern. On many occasions, the Anglican priests in the diocese either use very old bicycles for their pastoral movements, or survive on the good will of the Christians. Bishop Andaku says he will do his best to change the situation. He says the clergy pension scheme and support from Christians will be used to improve the conditions.
  
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Other areas to be tackled include; setting up the diocesan internal audit unit to improve accountability and best management practices and constructing facilities that can generate income for the diocese.
  
He also says he will ensure that the church land that had been encroached on by the neighbours is reclaimed. He however says this will need both dialogue and other non-violent means. Already the church is involved in a number of court cases over its land.

Who is Bishop Andaku?
  
On November 12, 2016, the House of Bishops sitting in Iganga in Central Busoga Diocese elected Charles Collins Andaku as new Bishop of Madi and West Nile Diocese.
  
The new bishop, with vast experience in education, was formally consecrated on February 26, 2017 at Emmanuel Cathedral, Mvara in Arua district. He succeeds Bishop Joel Obetia who has retired.
  
Born in 1966 in Kibigoro, Avavu-Katrini, Terego, Andaku got saved in 1984 during a Scripture Union conference at Mvara Secondary School. He trained as a secondary school teacher, receiving his Diploma in Education from Muni National Teachers College in 1991 and a Bachelor of Education from Makerere University in 1999.
  
Andaku combined his work as a teacher with his Theological studies at Bishop Tucker Theological College, Mukono. While serving as a teacher at Muni Girls Secondary School, he was ordained a deacon in 2005 and a priest in 2006. In May 2016 he was made a Canon at Emmanuel Cathedral, Mvara.
  
In 2009 Andaku received his Master of Divinity from Uganda Christian University. In addition to teaching at Muni Girls Secondary School, he has also served as their Chaplain.
  
In 2010, he also began lecturing at the Arua campus of Uganda Christian University, and in 2012 he became the Vicar of Emmanuel Cathedral, Mvara.
  
Andaku served on numerous Boards for schools and continued to be active in Scripture Union. His hobbies include listening to Christian music, reading Christian literature, and athletics.
  
He is married to Gloria and they have one son. They also have five other children under their care.

 

About the author

Franklin Ezaruku Draku
Franklin Draku has been a journalist since 2004. In his 12 years of practice, Draku can say he has covered all the journalism beats that exist.

A Uganda Radio Network (URN) staff member since 2010, Draku is based in Arua. This is his second tour of duty in this area. Draku was URN's main education and environment journalist in Kampala for two years 2014 to 2016.

A Kyambogo University graduate, Draku first worked with Arua district based Radio Pacis in 2004. At the station, he was a production assistant, reporter, producer, and then talk show host. In 2008, he joined Transnile Broadcasting Service for a year.

Draku reports intensively on education, tourism, environment and local government. He has twice been a runner up for the National Journalism Awards in 2013 and in 2014.