“Although Lira City is facing major constraints and setbacks in terms of resources to address her current challenges, we should start slowly but with strategies that won’t allow our City to be affected right from birth,” Stephen Omara suggests.
Lira – 16, April 2021: First and foremost, I thank the Almighty God for thus far he has brought us to where we are. I have a belief that his blessings and protection will still and always be with us throughout.
As a youth, I am happy to be communicating through this publication to our very own people and leaders. I have trust and belief in the works of our leaders, and with new political leadership taking office in May at Lira City Council, youth agenda and innovative ideas should be embraced and supported.
The youth of Lira City can be good pillars for the development of the new City. With this therefore, as Lira City takes on the path to be one of the best and fast developing Cities in Uganda, many efforts are needed to address current challenges arising from City development, growth and expansion which should be in line in an attempt to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal No.11.
The goal emphasizes the need for attaining “sustainable cities and communities”. But the issue of Sustainable Development cannot be attained or reached at without significantly transforming the way we create or build, and manage our urban areas/ spaces.
As Lira City starts from a word “go” and some other Cities grappling with challenges such as inadequate urban infrastructure, traffic congestion, environmental degradation and lack of basic services: water supply, poor sanitation and hygiene, lack of proper waste management, amongst others, Lira is not excluded.
Although Lira City is facing major constraints and setbacks in terms of resources to address her challenges, we should start slowly but with strategies that won’t allow our City to be affected right from birth.
From a resource efficient City, a clean City; green and healthy, this should be the focus and direction for our Lira City – and our leaders have a mandate to mobilise residents to back them.
Although much of the challanges are complex and require huge intervention from central government, we must and should start as early as possible with the little we can afford and i am very sure that youth’s intervention through your authorization and engagement will try to address the issue of sustainable green Lira City.
Now that the City has started and development (operations) have commenced, the race for economic development, job creation, challenges such as a possible increase in gas pollution remitted to the atmosphere from automobiles and industries, factories, garbage and waste increase amongst others, should be our primary focus.
To the youth and the adults of this “marvelous City”, one of the best things we can start doing is early tree planting in designated areas after permission from the authorities.
As far as combating climate change is also concerned, trees can improve air quality making the City a healthier place to live in. Trees also can prevent flooding, reduce pollution and provide attractive scenes.
Youth should be engaged, be granted a chance by City authorities to re(plant) trees and monitor them as City authorities issue penalties to deal with and punish the owners of animals that roams in the streets destroying trees, including penalizing some people as well.
Keeping the City clean and green should be everyone’s role; from tree, flower planting on designated areas and waste management. In addition, other areas of concern are preservation of tourism potential areas and protection of our heritage sites such as “Got Ngetta” (Ngetta Hills), amongst others.
Currently working with a media organisation whose vision is not only to promote and build the capacity of journalists (media houses) and stakeholders in Lango subregion and beyond, Great Lakes Centre for Strategic Media Studies (GLCSMS) and TND News are committed to working with, and engaging Lira City authorities to develop the City – via a number of programs.
GLCSMS quest to see Lira is marketed and admired dates back to 2019 when the media organization took charge of the Annual Media Conference, an event that brings togather leaders and media managers, journalists and CSOs under one roof.
The 4th Annual Media Conference (AMC 2021) will be held in October in Lira City and we are looking forward to engaging Lira City authorities further on better ways to achieve the targets.
“NOTE EN TEKO” & “FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY, UGANDA
The author is an accountant, a writer and GLCSMS’ Clerk.