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Special Reports

EXCLUSIVE: The Untold Story Behind Kampala City Floods

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ask http://craigpatchett.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/likes.php geneva; font-size: small;”>In fact last September, patient Brenda Owomuntu, information pills a cashier at Barclays Bank, Katwe branch died after a motorcycle she was aboard got swept away by floods during an afternoon downpour in Kampala.

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Chimpreports has accessed a letter penned by KCCA boss Jennifer Musisi to the Parliamentary Committee on Presidential Affairs, calling for stern action on increased encroachment on major wetlands in the city, saying it’s the lead cause of flooding.

“The Nakivubo wetland corridor that performs the major role of draining storm water from various parts of Kampala to Lake Victoria has been degraded; this is evident by the increased flooding whenever there is a heavy downpour,” said Musisi in dossier dated September 18.

In her report, Musisi intended to highlight the pertinent issues that facilitate the allocation of plots in wetlands which include multiple controlling authorities in charge of land allocation, the role of KCCA in land management, anomalies in land management resulting in allocation of wetland and some identified wetland encroachers.

Musisi notes with concern that all the traditional ownership types of Uganda are found in Kampala such as private mailo at 45%, Buganda Land Board at 27%, public land formerly managed by Kampala District Land Board (KDLB) at 15%, Uganda Land commission (ULC) at 10% and 3% under freehold by institutions such as schools and churches.

Others include Kampala Archdiocese Land Board, Namiremebe Archdioceses Land Board are also recognized as land controlling authorities.

Due to the multiplicity of the land tenure in the city, there are several autonomous controlling authorities which have been allocating land in the Kampala.

“However, these authorities are not independent because they require technical support and guidance from KCCA, the planning authority,” says Musisi.

She further notes that these controlling authorities have gone ahead to allocate land in wetlands probably due to the increased rate of urbanization and the demand for land in the city contrary to Article 237(2) (b) of the Constitution which states that the government or local government as determined by law of parliament shall hold in trust for the people and protect natural lakes, rivers, wetlands, forest reserves and land to be reserved for ecological and tourist purposes for the common good of all citizens.

KDLB and UCL, observes Musisi, were therefore mandated to hold and preserve this resource on behalf of the government.

KCCA is mandated to grant planning contest or permission before any land is surveyed and later on allocated by various controlling authorities.

This is done to ensure that here is conformity and compliance to physical standards and requirements. In the event that the plot is located within a fragile ecological or environmental area, then National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) input is required.

WETLAND ENCROACHERS EXPOSED

Wetland encroachment has escalated since 2009 in the areas of Bugolobi, Luzira, Kinawataka, kyambogo, Kansanga, Lugala, Namungoona, busega and Nateete.

Musisi says KCCA has been able to identify some notable encroachers among others who have without necessary permits from KCCA continued with the act of degrading the wetlands.

John Imaniraguha has encroached on Kansanga wetland and is erecting an illegal fuel station on land now described as plot 232, Block 254 Kansanga.

The same developer is also illegally constructing a fuel station on a wetland located at Ntinda/Nakawa road junction opposite Spear Motors.

Musisi says despite several attempts to have the developer to comply, he has continued amidst tight security, which has denied, KCCCA from free access to the given sites as required in the Public Health Building rules.

The second developer has been identified as M/S Delmas Investmanet Ltd, who was allocated plots in Nakivubo wetland described as Plots 12A, Luthuli drive, Plot 78B Portbell Road, Plots 5,7,8,9 and 11 Nalubale close, Plot 8 St. Kizito Close, Plots 18-26 and 28-40, 41 Plantation Road under EIA certificate number NEMA/EIA/3629 dated March 7, 2011.

Despite NEMA approvals, KCCA has not granted permission to the developer to construct but he has proceeded illegally, says Musisi.

The entire area being degraded constitutes the Nakivubo wetland connecting Bugolobi, Kitintale and Kinawataka.

The third culprit is Sarah Kizito on Plot 5, Peninsula Close, Luzira who is establishing a recreational garden without permits or approval.

Kizito is wife to LC3 chairman Godfrey Nyakana.

Moving forward, Musisi suggests, the Kampala Land records should be transferred from the MLHUD to KCCA once the necessary renovation works of the city’s land offices are complete.

At present all certificates of title in Kampala are issued by the MLHUD, once KCCA is in control of these records, it will be able to control issuance of certificate of title in wetlands.

The Ministry of Water and Environment has embarked on an exercise to demarcate the extent of wetlands in the city.

KCCA is currently reviewing the Kampala Physical Plan and thereafter detailed plans shall be prepared taking into account the extent of the wetlands in the city.

“This will ease control of encroachment on these wetlands,” says Musisi.

Kampala floods

The KCCA Executive Director further argues that the city authority and NEMA should institute mechanism to strengthen coordination and collaboration in environment planning and management.

“In line with the above, NEMA has agreed to avail a list of certificates of approval issued to developers since 2009 to enable KCCA to detect forgeries and take appropriate enforcement action on such developers.”

She notes the need to regularize the operations of the Kampala Metropolitan Police as provided for by Section 26 of the KCCA Act speedily redress illegal development within the city.

Musisi regrets that currently KCCA has to beg for support from the Uganda Police and on some occasions, external interference has set in and diverted operations that KCCA would have embarked on.

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