24 April 2018

Uganda: City Non-Motorised Transport Project Divides KCCA

Plans to turn Namirembe Road into non-motorised has divided officials at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) hence stalling the project.

According to the plan, Namirembe Road, which stretches from the Berkley (Bakuli) junction off Hoima Road to Mini-price shopping arcade in the city centre, will be left for pedestrians and cyclists to reduce congestion.

Namirembe Road is one of the busiest roads in the city. The non-motorised project, if implemented, will be the first of its kind in the city.

However, the Shs 3billion project whose ground-breaking is slated for June this year according to KCCA director of engineering and technical services, Andrew Kitaka, has since been opposed by city leaders.

Their rejection is hinged on the fact that the city authority is rushing to embark on a massive physical planning project whose contents have never been discussed by all stakeholders.

Daily Monitor has learnt that when this matter was recently brought to the attention of Kampala central division councillors of in one of their council meetings, they resolved that the project should be halted.

Moses Kayigo who represents Mengo Parish, confirmed to this newspaper that they have since rejected the project because it's likely to cause a stagnation of many businesses on the contentious Road.

"Our concern is that KCCA is rushing to implement a project whose contents we aren't aware of. For instance, this project is likely to affect people's businesses and we don't know how KCCA will handle that. We shall not allow that project to kick off because we are not aware of how it will look like," Mr Kayigo said.

He explained that whereas non-motorised transport system is important, the city authority must first prioritize the city residents who currently lack working spaces to sustain their families.

He further stressed that KCCA hasn't committed itself to compensate people on Namirembe road whose businesses are likely to be affected by the project.

The designs of the project, which have since been completed, were made with support from the UN-Habitat, United Nations Environment Project (UNEP), Goudappel Africa and Goudappel Coffeng, a Netherlands NGO.

Moses Katabu, who represents Kampala central, at City Hall said that the project must be approved by council first before it's rolled out.

"As elected leaders, we would like to know the designs of this whole project and the timeframe under which it will run. We asked the technical team to bring this matter to council so that we can discuss it exhaustively other than just rubberstamping things," he said.

On Friday last week, a crisis meeting was held at KCCA to discuss the fate of the project.

Although it wasn't open to the media, Mr Kitaka told this newspaper in an interview on March 21 that they are set to kick off the project.

He revealed that all contentious issues about the project were fully discussed in the Friday meeting.

"It's not true that we haven't engaged stakeholders as some councilors are claiming. We have had different engagements with majority of stakeholders and our meetings have always been fruitful, and the project will start in June," the director said.

Mr Kitaka explained that the whole project covers Namirembe Road-Luwum street corridor, and some of the neighboring streets.

But he said that part of the road will be maintained as a one-way for motorists hence it won't be left completely for pedestrians and cyclists.

Sarah Kanyike, the Kampala deputy Lord Mayor said that the matter will be discussed when council meetings resume.

Kampala is currently grappling with traffic congestion caused by both the state of poor roads and the big number of private commercial transport businesses.

By making part of Namirembe Road non-motorised, KCCA says that it will reduce on the congestion.

Uganda

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