By Peter Kaujju
When Global Research Agency Mercer released the City Quality of Life Survey 2018 that ranked Kampala the best city to live in in East Africa, some were taken by surprise but others who have followed developments, the survey communicates real change.
The quality of Life survey conducted by Mercer in 231 cities around the World ranked Kampala 172 ahead of the other East African counterparts Nairobi which came 186 position, Kigali (190) and Dar Es Salaam (199) as the best city to live in.
The areas focused on include; Political and social environment, Economic environment, Socio-cultural environment, Medical and health considerations, recreation and public services among others.
For those that found it hard to believe the study, it may have been on account of failing road network defined by potholes, flooding in major areas, dirty streets chocking on garbage, dark streets and declining support by agencies due to corruption, among others which were characteristic of Kampala seven years ago. Kampala story is changing!
The World Bank Group, in its Report ‘From Regulators to Enablers’ 2018, says Kampala is projected to become a mega city of more than 10 million people by 2040, and other Ugandan cities will also see a demographic explosion. “Currently, the opportunity presents itself for Uganda to leverage urbanisation to benefit a large proportion of the population,” it states.
The same report indicates that 80% of global economic is generated in cities and cities generated 58% of all new private sector jobs.
As the City’s administration (Kampala Capital City Authority) turned seven years on April 15, there are highlights of those areas that are changing and elevating the city of 4.8 million people for the better.
Transport and Road Infrastructure Improvements
Over 210kms of roads have been upgraded to Bitumen and 500kms of gravel roads maintained. KCCA has also been able to reconfigure and install responsive functional traffic signals at 20 junctions including Nakawa, Natete and Wandegeya, Fairway, Bwaise, Kiira road ,Game Lugogo, Katikati, Kololo Airstrip and Naguru among others. We installed 4,988 Streetlights in the City, of which 1,560 are solar street lights promoting ecofriendly initiatives.
With support from the World Bank under KIIDP II, we have reconstructed and upgraded several roads to dual lanes. These include Makerere Hill road, Kiira Road, Mabule road, Bakuli –Kasubi. We also rehabilitated 9 roads in Makerere University.
KCCA was concluded the Kampala Physical Development Plan (KPDP) which was approved in 2013.
With support from partners such as the European Union, the Climate Change Project commenced on preparation of neighborhood plans in four City precincts of Nakasero, Kololo, Makerere and Mulago.
Over 10,000 trees have been planted in the city and 4,500 Square meters of green and open spaces restored. We also launched the Kampala Climate Change Strategy and currently undertaking a tree audit in the City.
The process duration of review and approval of building plans also reduced from 60 plus days to 14 working days.
Under the City Address Model and Computer Aided mass Valuation (CAM/CAMV), 88,579 properties have been numbered in Central and Nakawa Division, 585 house plates installed, 2,599 Street Signage faces have been installed on 1,742 road sites, 360 roads have been named.
KCCA is currently rolling out the use of GIS as one way to support planning, visualisation, modelling in creating of livable City and for promoting economic development.
Two Modern 170 bed Hospitals were constructed in Makindye and Kawempe. These are currently occupied and, managed by Mulago referral hospital as their premises undergo renovation.
Over 90% Child immunisation recorded above national target and 62% increase in Deliveries in Health Care Unit. Over the last seven years Kampala, has been recognised as the most improved District in TB treatment. KCCA registered a 100% increase in garbage collection From 30 tons to 1,200 tonnes a day, acquired over 20 Garbage trucks and constructed a plastic and waste recycling plant under the Lake Victoria Environment Management Project (LVEMP). KCCA has set up five Plastic collection sites in the city, procured 135 Acres for New Land Fill- Dundu
In the 79 Government aided schools in the city, KCCA set up infrastructure in some of these schools constructing over 104 classrooms and 6 science laboratories.
Gender, production and community services
Several markets have been constructed including Wandegeya to accommodate 1,200 vendors. Usafi Market was procured and provides and is home to traders that were transacting business in non gazzetted areas downtown Kampala. The plan is to construct an ultra-modern transport terminal and market.
A three level structure in Busega is being constructed to provide 2,000 work-spaces to the community.
Other initiatives to provide affordable trading space for the business community in the City put in place include the Sunday Market on Luwum Street and accommodates 800 – 900 vendors operating every Sunday.
The Kyanja Agricultural resource center was established to promote modern urban farming. It is a training facility to people from within and outside Kampala on urban farming technologies. Over 3,000 urban farmers have been supported with inputs and new farming techniques.
The KCCA Employment Service Bureau has registered over 14,000 graduates under the I-serve program since inception. 4000 youths have been trained and acquired ICT, life and social skills. Over 600 job seekers have been connected to employment through the Bureau. Under the bureau, we launched the National Job Matching Database tool with 532 job applicants and 12 companies.
Over sh2.7B has been disbursed to 281community projects benefiting over 3,000 youths as startups.
10,000 youth and 65,000 community members have been equipped with business skills and start-up capital to facilitate enterprise growth.
The hurdles will always be part of the game but everybody’s contribution counts in making Kampala worth living in.
The writer is the head public and corporate affairs of KCCA.