Uganda: Planning Board Asks KCCA to Urgently Address Flooding

23 September 2020

The chairperson of the National Physical Planning Board, Ms Amanda Ngabirano, has asked Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to stop hiding behind claims of limited funding and address the problem of flooding in the city.

"When I was told KCCA has a drainage master plan, I asked why it is not being implemented and they said they don't have the funding. But it is a matter of prioritisation; you can't give funding as an excuse for something that is very destructive and life-threatening," she told Daily Monitor yesterday.

Mr Ngabirano was reacting to the latest incident of flooding in the city that claimed two lives. Police on September 10 recovered two bodies from the Nakivubo channel near Total fuel station. The people were carried by flood water from different parts of the city.

According to Mr Ngabirano, "there is a need for a complete city surgery."

"Even the road network we are developing, without an integrated city planning approach, it is going to be a waste of money because it will be destroyed by floods. The transport needs to be harmonised with housing, drainage and water management," she said.

Mr Ngabirano said there is a need to respect the natural water catchment areas to avoid flooding. "In city planning, water planning catchments are supposed to be left intact in the direction that they should naturally receive water. But with poor city planning, such areas are always encroached on," she said.

Mr Frank Muramuzi, the executive director of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), said KCCA has done little to address the problem of flooding and that more havoc will still be experienced.

"What have they put in place? They have not put proper channels. Sometimes they put up channels up stream but downstream, they are not there," he told this newspaper in an interview.

Mr Muramuzi added: "There should be areas with some trees and grass so that water can seep into the soil and the speed of water controlled."

Mr Daniel Muhumuza Nuwabine, the KCCA spokesperson, told this newspaper that a clear plan has been developed to address the problem.

"We are in the process of finalising the Kampala strategic plan for the next five years, which among other things, aims at addressing the problem [of floods in the city]," he said.

Mr Nuwabine added that solving the problem requires collective action from government and the people.

"I wouldn't call it flooding but water stagnation and surface run off. Our studies have shown that it is not just the rain but it is the issue of solid waste management," he told Daily Monitor interview.

"The city generates 2,100 tonnes of solid wastes daily but as KCCA, we have the capacity to manage only 60 per cent yet the citizens keep dumping the waste in wrong places," Mr Nuwabine added.

Mr Nuwabine explained that when it rains, the downpour drives the waste into the drainage channels.

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