By Aliker David Martin
Historically, the geographical place called Gulu was believed to have acquired its name from its environment.
It is reported that around 1910, a British man stood under a thick hermaphroditic Olam tree and asked for the name of the place with a fig tree (Olam) of the species of ficus sycamores which can live up to 800 years.
It’s at this point that water used to flow making that noise gulugulugulugulu….This water flowed from underground, and flowed north all the way to Oyitino dam, the storage site for today’s Gulu municipal water supply.
It is his limited words that made him capture the historical moment by referring to the place in reference to the noise water made that gave Gulu its name.
Gulu will be hosting its second conference in a month on its environment on 26th April, 2019 organized by Ceed in partnership with Gulu District Local Government (GDLG).
Ceed is a non for profit organization that seeks to empower young people to become the most positive change agents in their communities.
Last week, April 11th -12th, 2019 Cambridge Centre of African Studies, Makerere University School of Social Sciences, Gulu University, Human Rights Focus (Gulu), and the Centre for African Research (Gulu) hosted a major international conference on Rethinking Sustainable
Development from Northern Uganda at Bomah Hotel, Gulu.
So why is the environment becoming of interest to Gulu’s academia, NGOs and the people of Gulu?
Post-war northern Uganda is facing a multidimensional environmental crisis at present, involving deforestation, land grabbing, destructive resource extraction, unsustainable urbanization and climate change.
Environmental justice has been ignored by post-war transitional justice, peace-building, and reconstruction agendas among key actors, graft is getting deeply rooted in the regulation of these environmental crimes and valuable tree species like Shea nut trees and Afrizelia Africana (Beyo) trees are being destroyed.(Arthur Owor,2019)
A year ago, I opined in Chimpreports an Online News Source my opinion on, “Climate Change: Gulu Going Green in Preparation for City Status.”
In this article, I reiterated that Gulu Municipal had started the process of integrating its Green City Action Plan into its Development Plan.
Gulu Municipality through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) in partnership with Global Green Growth Initiative (GGGI) were piloting the green growth model of development to develop the Gulu Green Growth Action Plan (GGGAP) to integrate green growth in its Strategic Development Plan (SDP)
This included mainstreaming climate adaptation and mitigation strategies into all aspects of the municipal policies, planning and projects; and incorporating policies to help implement the municipal’s plans for high-density urban development into all sectors and to integrate social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects into housing policies.
Ceed therefore, intends to complement Gulu Municipal’s efforts in the process of integrating its Green City Action Plan into a reality
In its third edition of the annual Gulu Go Green Conference for the 2019, its rallying theme is “Carbon Offset, Our Responsibility”.
So what is our responsibility as stakeholders?
Our responsibility is to act now to avert the negative consequences of climate change and make Gulu city a Green City.
You can act now by attending the conference scheduled for Friday 26th, April 2019 from 2:00 pm-5:00pm at Boma Hotel in Gulu.
Other than the conference, you may register to participate in the Gulu Go Green Marathon on 28th April, 2019 to create awareness on Greening Gulu.
Finally, the Gulu Go Green Campaign is a community’s call to live in an environmentally friendly place in line with the city’s vision of a Transformed, Industrial, Hospitable and Sustainable City.
So attend the marathon and receive seedlings and at the convenience of your home, plant a tree in your compound every year and conserve the environment to make Gulu a Green City.
The Author is a Blogger Based in Gulu and a member of Gulu Writers Club(GWC)