Kampala and Incheon meet at first city-to-city exchange on disaster risk reduction
26 November 2019, Incheon – Ten officials from Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) various departments recently visited Incheon Metropolitan City to learn more from the city’s experience on disaster risk reduction and climate change policies and good practices.
Consolate Nakyagaba said, “Kampala joined the Making Cities Resilient Campaign in 2011 knowing very little about disaster risk reduction. We have made a lot of progress and this year we expect to have the integrated strategy on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation adopted for implementation.
“We have a multi-sectoral team here so we could learn together and understand that in disaster risk reduction we don’t need to fight for our own space in the projects, instead, we need integration and coordination in order to contribute to the bigger picture,” said Ms. Nakyagaba.
During the city-to-city exchange, KCCA officials met with high level officials of Incheon and visited various institutions within the city to learn about flood mitigation, water resource management, environmental sensitive solid waste and wastewater management, emergency coordination centre and response services, as well as smart city platforms.
Participants also had the opportunity to observe a class in one of the elementary schools in Incheon where the teacher who was trained under the School Safety Program by Incheon Metropolitan City, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MOIS) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) was teaching students about the fundamentals of disaster risk reduction through games and interactive discussions.
Planting the seeds of knowledge and awareness in school is impactful. “When we talk about disaster in Kampala, it is exclusively with adults,” said KCCA Deputy Lord Mayor, Sarah Kanyike. “However, children are the most vulnerable in disasters and teaching them about prevention and protection will help ensure their safety. We will surely take this program back to Kampala and start piloting in our schools.”
Kampala city affirmed the commitment to continue applying new solutions to reduce disaster risks. “Incheon has many challenges but was able to overcome them. It made me recall seeing our city’s outer ring road plan to solve the heavy traffic problem in 1972. It took us almost 30 years to finally have it built. Now I understand that somebody had a dream. Somebody planned and made it happen. I think I know the answer. I am a planner, and the change will start with us,” said the manager of Architectural Services, Bernadette Ssanyu.
Deputy Executive Director of KCCA, Mr. Samuel Sserunkuuma added that, “This exchange has been an important exposure for us. Now we know we can change things if we focus on it. We definitely will take back our learnings and apply it in our cities.”
Hosting the city-to-city exchange on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for the first time, Incheon Metropolitan City is committed to continue supporting knowledge exchange and experience sharing with other cities around the world. Nam Chun Park, Incheon Metropolitan City Mayor, expressed his appreciation for the programme.
“We are honored to be hosting this exchange and showcase Incheon’s hard work in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to Kampala City. We are committed to continue city-to-city exchanges in the future and share Incheon’s experience,” he said.
The city-to-city exchange was organized by Incheon Metropolitan City in coordination with UNDRR as a part of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign to foster collaboration and network among cities on disaster risk reduction and climate resilience. The UNDRR Global Education and Training Institute at the office in Incheon is the global hub of the Campaign, which addresses issues of local governance and urban risk.
The Campaign is led by UNDRR and is a city-driven initiative with raising the profile of resilience and disaster risk reduction among local governments and urban communities worldwide.