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Kampala’s posterity may have to pay like Mexico City!

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th October 2001 03:00 AM

SIR—Your internet issues of September 19 and 23 carried two articles, one about a plan for a shopping mall at the former City Square

SIR—Your internet issues of September 19 and 23 carried two articles, one about a plan for a shopping mall at the former City Square

SIR—Your internet issues of September 19 and 23 carried two articles, one about a plan for a shopping mall at the former City Square and the other, a letter about KCC’s apparent plans to lincense construction of shops on top of the Nakivubo Channel. While KCC’s enthusiasm for development is plausible, its level of insensitivity to Kampala’s green environment will soon cost us heavily. A lesson from Mexico City might help us see this. As a result of accumulated pollution due to enthusiastic development plans that cared least about the city’s environment, Mexico now witnesses the following: 1) From brushing teeth to preparing meals, residents have to spend heavily on factory purified water. Your health is in great danger with tap water. 2) An bad smell has permanently settled over the biggest city in the world, making the life of over 26 million inhabitants here difficult. 3) Lots of tourist revenue is being lost everyday as tourists and the well-to-do are re-allocating away from the city to fresher coastal lines. 4) In desperate moves to solve a problem gone worse, the Government is now introducing what they call "impuestos verdes" (literally, “green taxes”) which includes stiff taxes aimed at cleaning the city and preventing further degradation. These have to be paid by the city dwellers, now meeting the price of the spoils of the past planners, who, like KCC is doing now, cared less about the environment. Behold, the people here may have the money to pay. I wonder what will poor Kampalans do. KCC’s actions would be plausible if they destroyed one green area and developed two. On the contrary, what we see are crowded housing schemes like Namuwongo where green seems to be an offensive colour. Mexico city is now rigorously promoting groups which have given a number of avenues stretches of pleasant green trees and parks. Kampala does not lack such groups. The Human Initiative 2000 Group that at the turn of the new millennium graced Entebbe with a stretch of Neem trees with the support of Mayor Kabuye is a good case in point. Can’t KCC look to such efforts? Ben Naturinda, Mexico City

Kampala’s posterity may have to pay like Mexico City!

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