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Kira unveils new physical development plan

By Andrew Ssenyonga

Added 30th April 2019 10:40 AM

The plan projects housing demand of 1.04 million housing units to cater for 2.4 million people by 2040.

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Senior Kira Municipality physical planner Geoffrey Kato spoke during a meeting in Wakiso. (Credit: Andrew Ssenyonga)

The plan projects housing demand of 1.04 million housing units to cater for 2.4 million people by 2040.

LOCAL GOVERNANCE

WAKISO - Kira Municipal Council leaders have unveiled a draft physical development plan to guide planning and bring about orderly settlement and development in the rapidly growing municipality.

The plan, which is currently being discussed by stakeholders, stipulates which areas should accommodate such infrastructures as industrial parks, agricultural fields, tourism sites, hospitals and schools among others.

The plan projects housing demand of 1.04 million housing units to cater for 2.4 million people by 2040.

According to the plan, industrial parks will be restricted to Namugongo division while agriculture will be practised on a large scale in Kira division that hosts a number of rural villages.

The plan will also prioritise the development of tourism sites that include faith-based sites, cultural, sports among others to generate income for the development of the municipality.

Under the plan, the council committed to developing an improved, integrated public transport infrastructure network to support industrialisation, tourism and access to social services in Kira Municipality.

To decongest the notoriously busy Kampala City, authorities further propose a light rail system from Nakwero to Kireka and Kireka to Bukasa.

While unveiling the plan in a council consultative meeting on Friday at the municipality headquarters, the senior physical planner, Geoffrey Kato, was upbeat about the draft physical development plan, saying it has come at a right time before physical planning in the municipality gets messed up.

“I personally describe it as a major step in the area of physical planning because if we don’t guide developers on what to do now, we risk becoming another disorganised urban area,” he said.

Kato said with or without resources, the municipality will ensure that the physical development plan is implemented after being approved by the government.

“Our hope is that the municipal council and the technocrats generate investment plans for each of the development projects and source funding for the project on a public-private partnership,” he explained.

GIPEA East Africa Ltd is the firm the district contracted to develop the physical development plan.

The municipality mayor, Julius Mutebi, said the draft physical development plan is going to be displayed at all notice boards at divisions and parishes to allow feedback from the public.

“Displaying the plan in all areas will help share views with different stakeholders and we hope they will tell us what should be removed or added in the plan before it is approved by the minister,” he added.

He noted that the municipality is already overwhelmed by its current population, failing to adequately provide housing, employment, services, utilities and amenity for the bulk of its population and battles to absorb the current rate of in-migration.

“We hope to harmonise the diverse needs for human settlements, production and environment conservation through this developed physical plan,” he said.

Winfred Ndagire, councillor for Kira and Kimwanyi said the municipality is faced with traffic congestion that makes accessibility to the city centre difficult.

“We hope that the plan develops a resilient road network defined by a hierarchy that appropriately meets the municipal community and business needs of accessibility and movement,” she said.

She appealed to the municipality to improve on road transport management systems by providing traffic management interventions, off-street parking facilities and instituting road safety measures.

Bweyogerere division councillor Andrew Eiru called for a sustainable natural resources management plan designated to protect wetlands from the effects of increased human activities.

“Wetlands are destroyed by the expansion of human anthropogenic activities that include among others pollution, changes in local drainage, cultivation and human settlement,” he said.

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