Remarks at the Launch of the Inclusive and Sustainable New communities in Uganda (ISNCU) Project in Kabarole District

Jul 10, 2015

Remarks at the Launch of the Inclusive and Sustainable New communities in Uganda (ISNCU) Project in Kabarole District

By UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Uganda, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie

Friday, 10th July 2015 at 10.50-11.20am, Kibiito Town Council Grounds


Acknowledgements
  • The Minister of Local Government, Honourable Adolf Mwesige
  • Your Excellency, Ambassador Park Jong Dae
  • The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government
  • Representatives from KOICA
  • The Kabarole District Leadership
  • Representatives from the Local Governments
  • Colleagues from the UN
  • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in your respective capacities

It is a great pleasure for me to be here at the foothills of the beautiful Rwenzori Mountains, to launch the Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities project in Uganda. This project will be covering the districts of Kabarole, Luuka and Maracha.

UNDP is partnering with Republic of South Korea and governments across the globe (i.e. six countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Vietnam, Bolivia, Lao PDR and Myanmar) to pilot the Saemaul Undong movement, which we believe will be a great catalyst for rural development here.

From history, Kabarole is one of the districts in Uganda that has demonstrated the spirit of voluntarism and self-help.

Every time I have been here, the cleanliness and tidiness of Fort Portal town, impresses me. All this is partly because of the selfless spirit of the people of Kabarole to ensure the cleanliness of their town.

You are a true demonstration that carrying out “burungi bwansi” is still alive in Uganda!

As the local leaders here can attest, this is not possible without working hand in hand with the community to sustain this selfless contribution for the well-being of every one. This is what Saemaul Undong spirit is all about; - diligence, self-help and cooperation which leads to transformed communities and the attainment of a better life for all.

Saemaul Undong also promotes these key values which I would like us to bear in mind as we implement this project;

1. Empowering local communities to lead development

Saemaul Undong which translates to New Village movement promotes community driven development, targeting the most vulnerable particularly women and the youth to take charge of the development of their communities.

The Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities Initiative will therefore focus on encouraging communities here in Kabarole and also in Luuka and Maracha to identify their challenges and opportunities and work towards attaining sustainable solutions to deal with the challenges.

The goal here is for communities to see themselves as the catalyst and central drivers for their development.
For example: In the past, communities always ensured sanitation and food security by having a drying rack, a latrine, a cassava and sweet potato garden etc. Additionally, they took part in opening and clearing community roads and paths in the spirit of “burungi bwansi”.

Therefore, the currency of this project will be you the community, who will be responsible for taking charge and ensuring success and transformation in your communities.

2. National and Local leadership is vital for the success and sustainability of the project

A committed national and local leadership will be very key in ensuring that this project is not only successful but also inclusive and sustainable - no one should be left behind.

Leadership is a service that enables us to continually motivate those we serve to do better. Therefore, if the leadership at all levels takes this up whole heartedly, then it will lead to wide spread improvements in the communities of Uganda.

3. Local Development leading to National Development

Saemaul Undong envisions a nation whose development is bottom up, with development starting from the grassroots and affecting national policies and plans.

All the successes we achieve here and some of challenges will be great lessons learned that can be fed into the national policies and spread out to the rest of the country for learning purposes and doing even better.

4. Agriculture as the main driver of modernisation and employment

Kabarole is largely a farming community, let me underscore that the Saemaul model sees agriculture as the main driver of modernisation and a gateway for employment.

It promotes farming as an economically viable profession, hence it is critical to change mindsets. If we see agriculture as an area of viable investment, then we shall be able to promote it to attract many of our unemployed youth who are out there looking for white-collar jobs.

We must also learn how to share our land with our mothers, sisters and wives so that they too can be empowered.

***

UNDP and the Republic of Korea are contributing US$ 1,000,000 for this project. This is a modest figure that is intended to catalyse a whole development movement that will spread all over Uganda and change the way communities and leaders both at local and national levels look at development.

We hope that this project will provide invaluable lessons and motivate the district councils to put in more funds to replicate the model in other communities.

If we embrace and take this model forward, the project will help to achieve the aspirations of the second National Development Plan, such as strengthening sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth. The UN through the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) will accompany Uganda in pursuit these transformational agenda.

This will also help us to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will be launched by the UN General Assembly in September and will replace the MDGs as the blueprint for development world over.

As I conclude, I would like thank the Republic of Korea for funding this initiative, and promoting its benefits in Uganda and the rest of the world. I also commend the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Local Government and the three (3) pilot districts for accepting apply the Saemaul Undong initiative as one of the possible models to bring about transformation by revitalizing the well-known “burungi bwansi” concept.

Finally, let me also thank the organisers of this launch event - the leadership of Kabarole district who have made this event possible. Together let us work hand in hand to ensure the success of this project.

I thank you all for listening.

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