UGANDA started getting urban centres as far back as 1890, when colonialists set up camp in Kampala. Urbanisation has since been growing at about 6% each year. However, the challenges that come with it are becoming even more prevalent.
Heavy traffic jams, piling garbage, spreading slums, poor health- care, noise pollution and poor road networks are the order of the day. These challenges are not only synonymous with Uganda, but also occur in other countries.
However, the difference is that the urban authorities there planned for them in advance, and are thus able to mitigate them.
In Uganda, most of the challenges of urbanisation seem to stem from poor planning. That is why garbage heaps are increasing and there are wrangles over market and toilet fees.
Kampala City Council (KCC) is also threatening to demolish buildings without parking. These buildings were constructed as KCC looked on.
The central government, through the Ministry of Local Government has in place regulations under the Towns and Country Planning Act.
However, local leaders ignore them in many cases. For example, while road reserves are clearly marked in these plans, it is common to see developers being given approval to construct buildings in the reserves.
To overcome these challenges, urban authorities must adhere to their plans.
Leaders must plan for urbanization