The National Physical Planning Board (NPPB) has kicked off sensitization programs for political and technical leadership in the newly created cities.
The team led by the Board Chairperson Ms. Amanda Ngabirano and (Acting ED-NPPB) David Wamai held successful meetings in Arua and Gulu cities between Tuesday and Friday last week.
“We are aiming at sensitizing the technical and political leadership and raising public awareness in the new cities in as far as physical development planning is concerned; it is important we do this before we start enforcement.,” noted theBoard Chairperson, Ngabirano.
On Wednesday July 1, 2020, Government inaugurated ten new ‘cities’ from municipality status to City.
The cities include Arua, Gulu, Mbale, Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara, Soroti, Hoima, Lira and Fort Portal, in so doing government wanted to improve people’s livelihood with better spatial planning, service delivery and better administration.
Arua City Mayor His Worship Issa Kato warned his counterparts in the newly created cities to avoid mixing politics with government business which aims at improving the livelihoods of the masses.
“I want to thank the NPPB for thinking of Arua first and we do not take this lightly therefore I take this opportunity tell my counterparts in other newly created cities to avoid mixing politics with development but to ensure we support government programs in the best way we can to ensure our people’s livelihoods are improved,” said Kato.
The NPPB is working closely with various MDAs (Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies) like the Judiciary, Ministry of Local Government, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Ministry of Water and Environment, the Uganda Police Force among others to ensure orderliness in the country especially the newly created cities.
Wamai said that the public is not wholly aware that things like littering, failure to paint their premises (structure/building) regularly, failure to green and pave their building frontages, erecting structures in the road reserves or failure to clear bushes around their premises among others are actually offences punishable by fines and jail term!
The physical planning amendment Act 2020 gives the board the powers to order demolition of any building or structure constructed in contravention of this Act; and to conduct any investigation or inquiry relevant to physical planning development in Uganda.
Ngabirano noted that after the sensitization programs in the new cities the board will move to investigate the manner in which various petrol stations acquired their permits and approvals in these cities.
“As a matter of urgency we need to investigate these petrol stations because in the law a petrol station has to be at least three (3) kilometers from the other but we have seen cases where some stations are less than 100 meters apart which pose a great danger to the people in these cities,” warned Ngabirano.
She added that living in an organized and orderly environment should be everybody’s responsibility because the more organized a country, the higher the GDP and the reverse is true.
Ministry of Lands Under Secretary, Richard Juuko who represented the Permanent Secretary closed the meeting in Gulu on Friday by appealing to the technical leaders in the new cities to ensure they work within the law to promote orderliness and organization in the new cities.
“It is on record that your colleagues in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s never had the level of education you have but they did a wonderful job especially in the area of physical development planning but how come you the more educated are flouting the clearly stipulated guidelines which have caused government losses! Please work within the Law,” said Juuko.
The National Physical Planning Board is expected in the coming week to head to Soroti, Mbale and Jinja cities.