Ssekandi: Slums a Time Bomb

seek sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>While rapid urbanization could be seen as a great resource for socioeconomic transformation, Ssekandi cast a shadow of doubt on Uganda’s abilities to realize a balanced, sustainable, and healthy urban future.

Ssekandi was on Monday officiating at the validation conference of the draft National Urban Policy at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

“With the current projected population of 36 million, Uganda has an estimated 20 percent of its people living in urban areas. The high rate of urbanization of 5.2 percent per annum, poses a great challenge in terms of capacity for planning, and management of urban growth.”

While government’s aspirations would be to have an urban setting that offers an opportunity to everyone to enjoy its benefits, Ssekandi pointed out a number of challenges that still characterize majority of the country’s towns.

These he said include high youth unemployment, shanty slum housing, inadequate basic services, unplanned peri-urban expansion, natural disasters and dominance of informal sector among others.


“In Uganda, rapid urbanization has preceded industrialization. This has resulted in a limited number of formal industrial jobs, and widespread unemployment,” he said.

“This in turn has led to the expansion of the informal sector. Slums contain a series of survival strategies, borne out of poverty and desperation.”

The Vice President highlighted a need for concentration of efforts and resources by government on the urban informal sector in the slums because it the source of a living for many Ugandans.

“However, as difficult as it may be, the slums represents the only housing and livelihood opportunity for a lot of people.

Proper consideration should therefore be given to slum upgrading and improvement strategies.”

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