The Government is set to introduce yet another law on urbanization to address challenges associated with rapid population growth in towns.
“We have a National Urban Policy which was approved by cabinet. However, we are working on National Urban Law arising from that policy to manage urban settings so that we deal with issues of waste management, congestion, physical planning and settlement in urban areas etc. There is going to be a law specifically to regulate how urban areas are set up and managed,” said State Minister for Urban Development Isaac Musumba at Uganda Media Center today Monday.
“We don’t want to discourage anybody from coming to stay in towns. What we want to do is what everybody has pointed out. We want to resolve issues that come with increased population such as housing, pollution and security.”
As Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, continues to experience significant urban and economic growth, informal development in unplanned areas has put a strain on its natural environment and is eroding the vital ecosystem services it provides.
The World Bank report, Promoting Green Urban Development in African Cities: Kampala, Uganda Urban Environmental Profile, estimates that 40% of Kampala’s population lives in informal settlements predominately developed near wetlands throughout the city, without basic infrastructure such as water services, storm drainage, sewage treatment and solid waste collection.
ChimpReports understands the densely-populated informal settlements are a consequence of the rapid urbanization the city has experienced for decades, making Kampala the second fastest-growing city in Eastern Africa.
With the recent increase in population, particularly the move into the city by the rural poor, people are now predominately living in areas which are prone to flooding and are environmentally vulnerable.
However, Musumba today said concentration of population in Kampala has contributed in excess of 60 percent of Uganda’s revenue as country because of presence of consumers.
“The population is a consuming population. Everyone wants to market something in Kampala, everyone wants to set up a factory near the population who will consume the product. Therefore, there are advantages of having people together,” he observed.
Meanwhile, the Minister announced that on October 29, 2019, Uganda will hold a General Assembly for the national Urban Forum where various stakeholders discuss issues of urbanisation.
Currently, the urbanization rate in Uganda is 5.2 percent per annum.