Dorothy Kisaka is the executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), a position she has held for one year.
Kisaka has started on the journey of rebuilding the image of the city’s enforcement team whose iron-fisted approach to illegal business operations has earned them hatred.
Yet regardless of the hiccups, Kisaka is optimistic that in the next phrase of transformation, she will focus in building a strong system that will last long for easy service delivery in the city.
In interview with The Nile Post, she shares some of the plans they intend to put in place to improve on service delivery in the city.
What makes us miss Kampala when we travel?
I think is homeliness about our land, generally, it’s the food, it’s the people, it’s everything that makes you feel at home.
You are now in charge of Kampala in the next phase of transformation,What do you have in mind for the City?
I have great plans and I would put them into categories. There is what I call the visuals of Kampala because everybody wants to live in this smart city and so we want to deal with the roads, we want to deal with the physical planning aspects and we want to deal with the law and order generally on the streets. We also want to deal with the things that make Kampala beautiful, things that make you comfortable as a person.
What approach are you going to use to execute all these great plans?
We are mooting a methodology of going about it… that is focusing on the community which we are calling the parish model. That model is actually in the manifesto of NRM government and so we are just packing up and using it to develop Kampala. We want to do things that are long lasting not just quickly patch up things. We want to do things that will stay here with us and building an institution that people will be proud of after we have gone away.
How is 2021going to be? Buildings are still coming up without proper approval. Who is clearing them?
We need to change our ways, behavioural change, mindset change. I want to see systems in place and systems that last but we can do it one way or the other. We can do organisational review and really dig up issues and that is the approach we have been taking. I think we need to do proper physical planning for the city.
I am not saying we revisit the plan but going forward that is why we are adopting the approach. You are able to police, to be my neighbour’s keeper. We want neighbours in our small communities be able to give us information as KCCA of what is going on in their communities regarding physical planning, health, education, garbage collection by thinking about our administration in terms of parish model.
In that sense,do you feel that the biggest job is to change the society that had made disorder the new order?
Absolutely. You know that it’s all philosophy. I can be here for 36 months and patch up and go make a lot of noise in the media but I can also be here and just go deeper and deeper because if we don’t change the way we think and do things, we will be going back to the same thing over and over all the time.
Is it not going to be difficult to bring things in order since we have been doing wrong things for a long time?
One of the things I have appreciated about the city is that our stakeholders are people in suits ,they are people on the streets, they are people in the ghettos, they are people who we call slum dwellers and so we need to find a solution for all our stakeholders. As we find solutions for them, we need to make them aware of those solutions.
How do we deal with the poor drainage in the city?
We have seven hills in Kampala and they bring down all water to this place we unfortunately blocked by building on water ways. I think there is a saying in every language that water will always find it’s way. Our drainage master plan is so costly we don’t have those kind of monies.What we do is to repair the drainages and we hope they will allow water to flow where it is supposed to go.
Talk about the roads, there are pot holes almost in every road in the city
There is a programme that is going on now. We are working on the junctions to establish lights. Most of Kampala roads are all construction sites right now. We have a new programme that is starting about six months from now where many of our roads are going to get a new look.We hope later we shall get more money to redo more roads.
What mechanisms are you using to ensure that you implement what has been agreed upon?
We have two checks in place. We have the physical planning committee which is a dedicated team which meets every week and it’s chaired by the ED or deputy. We get to go through every single plan, we have a three dimensional picture so at that stage, a team goes out to the field and visits places and then comes and gives reports. When that process is done, we have a building committee that is tasked to issue the permits for building. So we are strengthening these checks. There are about three important checks that we are strengthening. It’s a work in progress.