By Christopher Nyeko
Gulu: The Gulu City Mayor, Alfred Okwonga, has tabled demands for the restoration of Acholi, the war-raging region, to officials from the UN who are in Gulu city for the commemoration of the 71st UN anniversary, which is going to be hosted by Gulu city today.
Okwonga, who was yesterday speaking from the Gulu University library during a dialogue organized as one of the pre-event activities, the conference was to explore how best the sustainable development goals can be implemented.
He focused his discussion on SGD agenda number 16, which talked about peace, justice, and strong institutions, as well as agenda number 4, which talked about quality education.
Okwonga informed UN Acholi sub-regions have been through insurgencies that have resulted in cultural disorientation and displacement of people from their homes into IDP camps.
In order to address the challenges, Okwonga appealed to the United Nations to consider designing tailored strategic plans for the implementation of the SDGs for Acholi, the region he says is the war-raging region.
In light of the fact that Gulu City is hosting this historical event, Okwonga requested tangible things, such as the building of a well-equipped modern computer and science laboratory in one of the traditional schools in the city, in a bid to boost SDG Agenda 4, which is quality education.
The mayor furthered his discussions, revealing that the Acholi subregion still has abundant fertile land, which is the main factor in production; however, the people struggling to produce products for international trade are dwindling due to the challenges of storage facilities in the region.
“Acholi is producing a number of crops, but due to poor storage facilities, the region is unable to supply its produce to the international market as their produce is damaged with aflatoxin due to poor post-harvest handling attributed to a lack of silos.
To address the issue of aflatoxin, the mayor lobbied the UN through the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to establish a mega-silo to serve the purpose of addressing the shortage in the region.
Thangavel Palanivel, the deputy director of UNDP and senior advisor, says Uganda needs a total of 8.8 billion dollars, which is 32 trillion Uganda shillings.
He advises the government of Uganda to embrace the promotion of carbon-free markets, debt swaps, accept free trade agreements, and use technology, innovation, and digitalization to enable them to raise financing to support implementations of the SDG agenda.
However, Susan Ngongi Namondo, the UN resident representative, decried challenges in the implementation of the SDG agenda due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Ebola, and Corona pandemics, which affected interest rates and the world economy.
Ngongi assured that she is going to submit the request tabled to her by Gulu city authorities during the conference to the UN summit, noticing that the UN doesn’t have a program but is always available to respond to needs and demands arising from the communities.
Meanwhile, Fabian Mwanyumba, the coordinator of the UN program in Northern Uganda, disclosed that the implementation of the 2030 SDG agenda, which commenced in 2016, has reached midway.
He asked the community to be part of the implementation of the sustainable development goal for their own benefit.
The 17 sustainable development goals on the agenda are: 1. No Poverty, 2,Zero Hunger, 3. Good health and well-being, 4,Quality Education, 5,Gender Equality, 6. Clean water and sanitation, 7,Affordable and Clean Energy, 8, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, 9. Decent work and economic growth, 10,Reduced Inequalities, 11: Sustainable cities and communities, 12. Responsible consumption and production, 13,Climate action, 14,Life below water, 15 Life on land, 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions 17, partnership for the goals.
Gulu city is today hosting the UN commemoration day under the theme “accelerating the achievement of the 2030 agenda and the sustainable development goal”.
The event is expected to be graced by the honorable prime minister of Uganda, Robinah Nabanja.
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