One Wednesday, I went on a wild chase of a pickup driver who was enjoying sugar cane and dropping husks on the road.
The chase started at the Queens Clock Tower until Nsambya Hospital when the pressure became a little unbearable on this ‘good’ driver who later told me his name was Nsubuga.
My intention was not to get Nsubuga arrested but rather find out why he was littering and sensitize him in case he wasn’t aware that his action was wrong and would earn him prosecution in the courts law. He pleaded that he only threw the waste four times. I shared with him the dangers of his action.
My prayer is that he learnt something and possibly shared with others what had happened to him.
Such practices including walking on green belts, street vending among others were very common in the city prior to 2011 but quickly started to disappear when the new administration was announced at City Hall and took firm action. In fact, April 2016 will mark 5 years of Kampala Capital City Authority.
Though not where we should be, Kampala has for past five years registered quite some changes, some radical and others not but there is indication we are headed in the right direction.
I take a snapshot of some the developments in the various sectors.
ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT
Over 181 kilometers of city roads have improved, reconstructed and upgraded in addition to routine maintenance of the entire road network as well as maintaining and constructing 35 kilometers of drainage.
4000 street lights were replaced across the City but now the city administration has embarked on the introduction of solar lights and to date, over 427 solar lights have been installed along several roads in the city. 750 more have been procured and are expected within the next one month.
REVENUE COLLECTION AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
The institution’s revenue stream has increased by 166%, from UGX 30.3 Billion as reported in 2011 to a total of UGX 80.5 Billion as at the end of the last financial year as KCCA moves towards self-funding.
Measures were initiated to enhance transparency, accountability and efficiency in use of public funds. The Auditor General issued an un-qualified audit opinion on KCCA’s financial statements for the last 2 consecutive years. In addition, KCCA received an A1 Credit rating by the World Bank Credit Rating Agency.
In this area, construction of two modern 170 bed City Referal Hospitals in Kawempe and Kiruddu is complete and these are expected to decongest Mulago National Referral Hospital and provide better services to the people of Kampala.
There is Improvement in laboratory services in all the 9 KCCA Managed Health centers.
Over the past five year, we have recorded a 200% average increase in demand for services in all KCCA Health Units as a result of improved services.
In the field of sanitation, garbage collection has grown by over 100% from 14,000 tons per month in 2011 to over 30,000 tons per month. Procured 8 garbage trucks and 55 garbage skips and acquired a new landfill at Dundu.
KCCA embraced a number of community initiatives to support people and a total of UGX 4.034Bn has been disbursed to 976 groups across the 5 five divisions under Community Driven Development.
2,777 young people in the city have received UGX 4,715,876,000 in loans under the revolving Youth Fund Loan. Another UGX1.03 Bn has been given to 103 youth groups under the Youth Livelihood Program.
Over 1,340 youths have been trained in ICT, Entreprenuership and leadership at the Employment Service Bureau in 2014 to equip youth with special skills. KCCA connected 161 youths to get permanent jobs courtesy of the Bureau.
4508 farmers have received inputs worth UGX. 3, 522, 895, 000 in 5 city Divisions.
The area of workspaces, Wandegeya Market now has over 852 vendors while Busega market is on schedule and will be ready by October 2016 and is planned to accommodate over 1500 vendors.
KCCA is working to convert the 6-acre USAFI market into a modern market and transport hub.
In a bid to provide an opportunity for vendors in May 2015, KCCA launched the Sunday market Initiative along Luwum Street and it attracts between 400 – 550 vendors every week.
Kinawataka, Busega, Kitintale, and Nakawa are among those being considered for improvement.
Critical among the city administration’s plans over the next five years is developing neighborhood plans, construction of 600kms of roads, introduction of light rail services in the City, construction of the Bus Rapid Transit System, 100% cover of street lights in the City, construction of modern hospitals and model schools in each urban division among others.
In only 5 years, Kampala has become a benchmark for many city administrations in the region.
According to the latest Quality of Life Survey in the world’s 230 top cities conducted by Mercer, Kampala is the best East African capital city in East Africa.
The study examines social and economic conditions, terrorism threats, health, education, housing and the environment in making its judgment.
This ranking calls for a lot of work from policy makers, the city administration, residents and the general public in among other things paying attention to regulations and protecting what has been put in place. These are gains we can’t afford to give away. Let us guard them jealously.
Peter Kaujju, the author, is the Head of Public & Corporate Affairs at KCCA.
First published on March 8, 2016 on KCCA website.