By Josephine Maseruka
Local leaders have asked the local government ministry to speed up the urbanisation of towns. Through their umbrella organisation, the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda, they pointed out that it would be more expensive for the Government to rebuild or renew messed up towns.
Chairman Stephen Kabuye, also the Entebbe mayor, appealed to the parliamentary committee on public service and local government to support them in lobbying for more support for urbanisation.
â€œStreamlining urban development is not cheap and I would like all of us not to expect anything less than that. The ministry of Local Government must take the lead and plan for better urban management,â€Kabuye said.
Kabuye and other executive committee members were commenting on the ministerial policy statement when they met the committee recently at Parliament.
In a six-page statement, Kabuye noted: â€œMany towns continue to degenerate with squalid conditions characterised by slums, poor infrastructural, sanitation and waste management mechanisms.â€
He said policy makers, most of whom live in towns, had not helped them either.
Kabuye said the ministryâ€™s plan for urbanisation should go beyond mere upgrading of towns and declaring trading centres towns.
â€œPlan should be packaged with investment intentions to promote infrastructure development, land surveying and planning and installation of social services.â€
Kabuye argued that whereas the Government was so much concerned with the â€˜modernisation of agricultureâ€™, the process could only be meaningful with a corresponding plan to support urbanisation.
The association was opposed to the continued use of night population figures especially in towns to determine the grants given to them.