Interview with Mr. Paul Walakira, Chief Administrative Officer, Mbale District Local Government.
Mbale has recently re-engaged active work with nrg4SD. What are the motivations behind the decision of being part again of our network?
The motivation for Mbale’s re-engagement actively with nrg4SD was to re-unite with a bigger family in terms of information sharing and evidence-based learning. We felt as a region that we were missing out on razor-sharp current findings that could help in resolving issues especially those that do not respect political boundaries. On the other hand, the world needed to know what was actually happening in our region.
How do you think nrg4SD can contribute to your government efforts in sustainable development?
We feel nrg4SD can contribute to our efforts in sustainable development on the following;
- increase our knowledge and engagement on sustainability, energy and development.
- offer guidance on implementation of 2030 SDGs agenda.
- support capacity building on best practices and collaboration with nrg4SD members.
How do you think Mbale can inspire other regions to improve their efforts in the fields of climate change and biodiversity?
Mbale can inspire other regions to improve their efforts in climate change by regularly sharing our experiences in this area through monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning aspects of our running projects. We will share our contributions towards achievement of ultimate objectives of UNFCCC with time.
On biodiversity, we can share with others our learning in this area, that could be replicated elsewhere. This can effectively be done by Mbale being active on nrg4SD’s biodiversity learning platform. We could also share our strengths and gaps that determine technical support for mutual learning. We believe we offer best learning and testing environment in the area of biodiversity studies.
Can you mention some of the best practices your government develops to date or has recently implemented?
Mbale has good documentation on TACC (Territorial Approach to Climate Change) project. TACC project lacked funds to proceed as planned, but there are good baselines done in this region. We’re implementing a ‘Ten Million Tree Planting Project’ that has tried to incorporate carbon financing initiatives to reduce GHG as well as improving on beneficiaries’ income over time. Integration of tree planting with bee-keeping initiative. Running of rural mini-hydroelectric school project to provide efficient, reliable and cheap electricity to a rural school from a simple water stream. How local governments are working well with our organizations in a PPP model (Public-Private Partnerships) to achieve a common goal.
What are the main challenges that Mbale faces in terms of climate change?
Main challenges that Mbale faces in terms of climate change include but not limited to;
- Land slides (mud slides)
- Land degradation
- Reduced crop yields, thus reduced food security
- Over cultivation and soil erosion.
What message would Mbale like to convey to other nrg4SD members?
Mbale has re-engaged nrg4SD with an open mind to actively learn and share its, somewhat unique, experiences with other members for a better universe to all its occupants.