EALA Speaker, Rt Hon Daniel Fred Kidega has reiterated the need for cities and towns in the EAC to embrace the twinning principle to spur best practices in their management, enhance investments, security and cleanliness.
At the same time, the Speaker says Partner States should indeed enhance common environmental policies that would sustain the eco-systems of Partner States beyond this current generation.
Rt Hon Kidega, made the remarks over the weekend at the inaugural Lira Waa (Our Lira) Annual Prayer Breakfast, themed ‘Making Lira City Green and Clean’ held in Lira Municipality, in Uganda.
“In Kigali for example, the Umuganda initiative (Community work) has gone a long way in ensuring cleanliness and this is attributable to good leadership, a thing which must be celebrated”, he said.
“I am happy that a number of cities are today concerned about becoming clean- but the city authorities cannot do it alone without support. Successful collaboration will lead us to achieve what we want; clean, and well planned towns and cities,” he added.
The Speaker offered to be the bridge in assisting the authorities in Lira Municipality to twin with a City of their choice in the Partner States saying it was aimed at exchange of information and comparing notes.
The guest preacher at the function attended by over 100 persons was West Lango Diocese Bishop Alfred Acur, who said the church was also committed to ensuring the face of Lira Municipality is changed.
“Planting trees and making the environment clean and pure is good. Trees make life nicer and reduce stress”, he said citing several verses in the Bible that attach importance to cleanliness.
The Regional District Commissioner (RDC) Lira, Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi, the brainchild of the initiative, said the cause would make Lira clean and strengthen its quest for elevation to a city.
“By embracing Lira Waa Campaign, we are showing Government our hunger for a city status. There will be two model streets that we shall all concentrate on to make them clean, painted and with waste bins”, he added.
The campaign seeks to rally people to plant trees, flowers and greens and to create reliable waste management systems which is beneficial to all. Lira Waa (Our Lira) campaign is a model that was developed by the Regional District Commissioner and is a model that seeks to unite the Community to own the district, brand it and be proud of it. It envisages the transformation of the Municipality into one of the cleanest in modern day Uganda, and a destination everyone would want to associate with as it hosts sub-national, national, regional and international events.
Lira Municipality currently hosts an ultra-modern market estimated at UGX 28 Billion and an irrigation scheme, one which the RDC says will turn the municipality into a bread basket for the region. Stakeholders in the campaign include the private sector, civil servants, civil sector organisations and cultural leaders. Corporate companies and the entire Community have also been roped in the initiative.
Under Article 112 of the Treaty for the East African Community, Partner States undertake to develop common environmental management policy that would sustain the eco-systems, prevent, arrest and reverse the effects of environmental degradation.