The Minister for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba, has emphasized the importance of implementing thorough physical plans for newly created cities to prevent the emergence of slums. During a leadership meeting held on November 10, 2023, in Kampala, she highlighted the need to learn from past mistakes, citing the unplanned growth of Kampala, which was initially designed for 30,000 people but now accommodates around five million.
The meeting, attended by various ministries, discussed strategies to develop the recently established cities, including Jinja, Arua, Gulu, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Masaka, Mbale, Houma, and Soroti, all operational for three years.
Nabakooba outlined key focus areas, such as solid waste management, construction of affordable housing, enhancement of drainage systems, and the development of accessible road networks to alleviate traffic and congestion.
Despite the vision for sustainable urbanization and housing under the five-year Sustainable Urbanisation and Housing (SUH) program starting in the financial year 2020/2021, limited funding has hampered progress. Minister Nabakooba acknowledged the challenges posed by insufficient funds and expressed the need to prioritize areas for improvement in the upcoming budget.
Eng. Kenneth Kaijuka, CEO of the National Housing and Construction Company, stressed the importance of capital for developing better accommodations, citing stalled projects like the Bukerere Satellite City and the parliamentary village in Lubowa due to lack of funding.
Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, urged technical personnel to enhance infrastructure in Kampala for a more advanced and cleaner city. She referred to the approved National Physical Development plan 2022/40, aiming to address sectoral pressures on land use amid the country’s growing population.
The SUH program operates under the National Development Programme (NDP III) framework, with the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development providing policy guidance on urbanization and housing in Uganda.