By Taddeo Bwambale
The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is finalizing a new development plan for the city that projects a housing demand of 2.2 million housing units by 2040.
The Kampala Physical Development Plan (PDP), which covers the city's development between 2012 and 2040, is expected to be released by the end of the year.
The plan projects that the city's current population of 3.5 million will double by 2020 and rise further to about 15 million by 2040.
KCCA's director in charge of physical planning, Joseph Semambo said the plan would incorporate fast-growing suburbs in Mukono, Wakiso and Entebbe districts, an area termed the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA).
The plan also provides for the creation of five satellite towns to ease pressure on Kampala's infrastructure and services. The proposed areas include Ssisa-Nsangi, Ntenjeru-Nakisunga, Goma-Kira and Nansana, located in Mukono and Wakiso districts.
The plan proposes the establishment of a Rapid Bus Transport (RBT) system as well as the construction of by-passes and new lanes to ease traffic.
Semambo revealed that KCCA had already acquired permission from the Uganda Railways Corporation to use all the land bordering the railway line in the city, to construct modern shopping centres.
According to Semambo, once the Plan has been approved, KCCA will create green parks to protect the environment and attract tourists.
"We want to create open spaces and urban parks. We also want to maintain the wetlands within and promote Kampala as a green city," he said in an interview with the New Vision.
Semambo said KCCA would generate investment plans for each of the development projects and source funding of the project on a public-private partnership.
While Uganda's population grows at a rate of 3.4% per annum, the urban population is growing at 5.2%, putting pressure on housing and other land resources. It is estimated that by 2050, Uganda will have a population of 110 million.
The country's housing shortage stands at about 700,000 units, but Kampala alone has a shortage of over 100,000 units, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBoS).
According to the 2005/2006 National Household Survey, over 64% of Uganda's population lives in one-room tenements commonly known as 'Muzigo' in various city suburbs, which are neither safe nor healthy for residing in.