By Cedric Babu Ndilima
Last night between 10 pm and 12 am I watched NBS Television #NBSFrontline hosted by #SimonKaggwaNjala. His Guests included Hon Norbert Mao, #OfwonoOpondo, Hon. Nsereko and the old man of the clan Andrew M. Mwenda. My take from all their submissions on the subjects of Parliaments10Bn/- and food distribution is how unprepared as a country we are when faced with uncertainty. God help that this #COVID19 will pass. If that happens I hope we will develop remedies to cushion our economy and prepare for any eventualities even if they are force majeure by nature. We must PLAN!
As a follow on my article yesterday I am going to highlight the first strategic objective of the ‘JOB AND WEALTH CREATION IN THE GREATER KAMPALA METROPOLITAN AREA’
1. A COMPETITIVE ECONOMIC STRUCTURE: This strategy focuses on infrastructure development across the GMKA (Roads, public transport, and affordable housing) which in effect means connecting people to jobs and creating linkages to jobs.
Kampala has a population of 1.7m and this population is growing at a rate of 2% which could double over the next 20 years. We need to develop infrastructure that can support this rapid growth in population. Infrastructure is critical for our economic development
It is important for the leaders (Ministries, MPs, District Leaders) and agencies to join hands/ resources to address the issue of roads, smart public transport (trams), walking areas, and affordable housing. When I speak of agencies I speak of Uganda National Roads Authority, Uganda Investment Authority, Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA, National Housing, Umeme Limited Uganda Development Corporation Uganda Development Bank Ltd National Water and Sewerage Corporation, NSSF Uganda, etc
We must note that we can no longer look at Kampala City in Isolation as other areas in Wakiso, Entebbe, Kira, Mukono, etc have grown towards the capital city or vice versa. This suggests that the municipal leaders and agencies must look at this infrastructure issue as a unit. Case in Point: Traffic is not only a problem of Kampala City but feeds into Mukono, Kira, Wakiso, etc so all parties must address it jointly.
This team of leaders and agencies should sit down take their respective plans and merge them into one objective to be implemented by a joint task force. The international agencies to which Uganda subscribe African Development Bank Group International Monetary Fund, World Bank should be an integral part of this planning and implementation process.
60% of Kampala’s Population lives in slums. 54% live in ‘Muzigos’ (tenements), 12% in stores. 65% rent and 71% occupy rooms other than free-standing houses.
There is a current deficit of 100,000 housing units in the GMKA and a growth in the size of slum areas.
The GKMA plan suggests a build of 5,000 affordable units per year since 2016. This was not done but if the agencies mentioned in this post can synchronize to offer land (Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA), finance (Uganda Development Bank Ltd), and labor(#UPDF) units can be built to create affordable/social housing. The GKMA suggests working with the UPDF engineering brigade to address the housing issue. It must also be noted that the Housing project would be based on creating four industrial parks (North-Kawempe/Matuga, East-Namanve/Lugazi, South-Nanasana/Kaviri, and southwest-Kyengera/Nabingo). Relocation and housing would be centered around these parks. We shall address this more in the objective of ‘Business Support to Youth.
These suggestions are not charity but a proposed synchronized effort by leaders and agencies to create DEMAND and increase productivity. There will be more to tax, more houses to light, more contributions to NSSF, etc if this can be brought to fruition.
In the meantime #StaySafe