Following recurrent flooding of different parts of Kampala, with the latest wave claiming 8 lives, the state minister for Kampala has responded.
Hon. Benny Namugwanya says illegal developments on drainage reserves, poor solid management and filling of wetlands are to blame for this hazardous situation.
Among the most prone areas according to the Minister are: Kiyanja-Lumas, Nakamiro and Kawaala that all go through Bwaise.
Others are Kyambogo-Banda, Nalukolongo, Nateete, Clock Tower and Bandali-Luthuli rise in Bugoloobi.
Concerning the Kyambogo-Banda area, the minister urged authorities to fast-track the process of cancelling all land titles in wetlands.
Among those listed include one in the names of Meera Investments granted in 2010/11. Meera investments backfilled 75% of Kinawataka swamp which is a discharge area of the channel.
In the short term, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) has resolved to construct 4 new box culvert crossings (on Jinja Road) at Kyambogo and Banda areas under Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Projects (KIIDP).
Construction is expected to commence around February 2020.
Mandela Miller Limited is also accused of backfilling Busega swamp upon clearance by NEMA. Fears are rife that further back filling shall exacerbate the flooding problem in Nalukolongo, and Nateete areas.
Village Mall and Shell Bugolobi are were also constructed on the original drainage channel.
Another company behind this debacle is Mukwano Industries which is blamed for blocking drainage channels that flow from the Katwe (Kinyoro) community drain, Nsambya Barracks and Kibuli areas.
Hon. Betty Nambooze the shadow minister for Kampala says politics is to blame.
“Kampala has become a battle ground. Everybody there from the minister to the LC 1 has mastered the art of antagonistic politics at the expense of development”, Nambooze laments.
She says under Section 21 of the KCCA Act; the line minister “should have constituted the Kampala metropolitan physical planning authority yesterday.”
On his part, Hon. Henry Kibalya the Bugabula MP opined that if possible KCCA should be handed to parliament since it has continuously failed to solve pressing issues.
It is projected to cost taxpayers roughly 67 billion shillings to construct Mayanja north, Nalubaga and Walufumbe primary and secondary channels and crossings.
Minister Namugwanya says designs for the Shell Bugolobi channel have been included in the Kampala Fly over slated to commence in July 2019.