The Vice-President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi watering a tree he had just planted during the commissioning of Comfort Homes in Naalya last week. Photo by Shamim Saad
The Vice-President Edward Ssekandi has asked Ugandans to embrace the trendy, but economical way of storeyed construction of residential houses to enable the country develop the housing sector.
Ssekandi made the call on Friday during the opening of Casa Marcella Comfort Homes at Naalya in Kira Municipality, Wakiso district.
"With a population of about 40 million, expect the youth to move to urban areas, slums will continue cropping up. The per capita will become low. This retards the country economically, but if we constructed vertically, we would ensure maximum utilisation of our resources," Ssekandi noted
Ssekandi decried the country's rapid population growth, saying it has resulted in stress on the available land, with the construction industry stretched to the extreme.
"Urbanisation rate needs to match with the accelerated trend in construction if any emerging economy like Uganda is to achieve the development millenium goals," Ssekandi stated.
"The 60,000 housing units constructed per a year is low compared to the 200,000 needed in the urban areas, this is an indescribable dream. For those intending to invest in the country, expect to get good returns on the investment." he said
Kiira Municipality physical planner Geoffrey Kato, explained that vertical construction increases revenue collection for the country.
"In this municipality, a lot of revenue is remitted from house plans, building plans and the rental tax," Kato remarked.
According to Uganda Human Settlements Network, the housing sector contributes enormously to the socio-economic development such as the economic growth, fixed capital formation, employment creation, and ensuring macro-economic stability.
Last year, the Government adopted a national housing policy to guide housing development and improvement for all.
A recent report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, pointed to a housing deficit of 550,000 units. About 160,000 of this backlog is in urban areas. Kampala alone has a housing deficit of 100,000 units.
Comfort Homes director, Mufaddi Shehabi, commended the Government for the convenient and enabling investment environment created over the years.
"We are quite comfortable with the way the Government has treated us. We plan to build more, especially the low-cost housing estates, given the opportunity," Shehabi said.