Slums surround Uganda’s capital city

Posted on | augustus 5, 2011 | No Comments

Uganda’s capital city Kampala is gradually turning into a slum city. With all modern facelifts the city is surrounded by so many slums which are fighting to take over its presence. Slums such as Bwaise, Katwe, Kisenyi, Kibuli, Katanga, Nakulabye, Naguru II and many others are really less developed but are all in Kampala. But the big battle is between Kampala city council and Kisenya slums which are just near the city centre of Kampala and around 45.000 people live in this crowded slum.

It is located just 800m from the heart of the capital Kampala and also 100m from Uganda’s biggest market “Owino market”. But everything in the slum is under developed; roads, housing and sanitation are still very poor.

The walls of Owino market are part of Kisenyi slum and kaffumbe Mukasa road divides Owino market and Kisenyi, this road is very poor and with pot holes which contain contaminated water harbouring misquotes, people , “boda-boda”, and vehicles just swim through it .

Around the walls of the market is where you find vendors trading so many kinds of fresh or perishable commodities like tomatoes, cabbages and so many others.

Musisi Agnes , a market vendor at Owino, when asked about the situation in the place, said , ” the government and city council has neglected this commercial place , they don’t know that this is where all people in Uganda come for business, it is a shame for the country’s largest market to look like this.”

Agnes added, “the major problem is that the authorities have neglected the roads around the market and in Kisenyi slum, they should find quick means of working on these roads”.

Life in Kampala slums

“Congestion is unavoidable in Kampala slums; shanty houses are too many and extremely close to one another and most of these houses are rented out to people. Many people can afford renting only a room.

The father, mother and children may occupy a room, which may also serve as the dinning, storeroom, bedroom, among other functions. Due to the large numbers in the room, some families force some of their children to sleep under the parents bed yet in more descent homes, a simple curtain separates the “master bedroom” from the children’s, which also doubles as a dining room”, said Nsubuga Simon a resident in Kisenya slum.

Food prices have spiralled out of control in 2011 which even caused the opposition parties to form protests, Most people living in slums live on even less one meal a day ,Sickness hovers like a ghost over the slums and pregnant women, children, the elderly suffer the most.

Due to the close proximity of the houses to each other malaria spreading mosquitoes have a field day – malaria strikes and often there is no money for treatment.

In these slums, overflowing pit latrine empties its contents into a worm-infested drainage channel and at least less than 10 latrines serve a population of 3,000 people living there.

Developments in slums

In Kisenyi , there is only one large commercial building which has the standard of city structures but unfortunately some of these shops for renting are still closed, people in this area can’t manage to rent them since they deal in small scale businesses, just a few are occupied by large scale businesses like banks etc.

Apart from Kisenyi slum, however, Tax parks near this slum are also in a very poor condition, recently, Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director, Jennifer Semakula, described the two main city taxi parks as regretful, calling for their immediate reconstruction and not mere repairs.

She said KCCA will review plans to repair the new and old parks in the central business district to lift it to the required standards.

“I have observed that the parks are beyond repair, deserve immediate attention and therefore the Authority will soon sit to revise the decision taken earlier,” Ms Musisi said, during her tour of the two city taxi parks last week.

“The parks are not different from roads in down town areas that also need urgent attention,” she said.

She was, however, quick to add that the reconstruction is not an immediate issue because it involves going through stages of procurement.

Kampala is both the administrative and commercial capital city of Uganda situated on about 24 low hills that are surrounded by wetland valleys, characterized by an imprint of scattered unplanned settlements.

The emergency of slums in Kampala City has been gradual and sustained over a long period of time which has attributed to the failure of Kampala Structure Plans to cater for the growth and developments.

AUTHOR: Nangayi Guyson
E-MAIL: n.guyson [at]


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