The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director Dorothy Kisaka has said their focus in 2023 is to ensure Kampala remains a vibrant city.
The focus will be on the delivery of quality public transport solutions, the construction and revamping of roads and creating more business opportunities, according to Kisaka.
Kisaka shared her plans for the new year 2023 while giving a broad overview of what has happened in Kampala during the year 2022 where she highlighted the progress and achievements of the city.
The city has 2,100 km of roads, of which 600 km are paved or tarmacked but 1,500 km are not paved or gravel. With funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) KCCA is to reconstruct at least 29 roads totalling about 70 kilometres.
“These roads works will begin in February 2023 and roads like Salaama road, Old Port Bell Road, roads in industrial area among others,” Kisaka said, adding that these roads will improve the outlook of the city and overall wellbeing of community.
“We shall have fence to fence construction of these roads where each road will have a walkway, security lights and drainage,” Kisaka said.
She revealed this kind of construction is partly responsible for the high per unit cost of the city roads, adding that focus will also be on maintaining community roads with support from the Uganda Road Fund.
She highlighted the infrastructure investments including lighting the city where at least 20,000 security lights are to be installed in the city.
Enhancing revenue, especially improving collections from the markets is also on top of the agenda. Before the presidential directive on markets, KCCA was not collecting any coins despite spending a lot of money on utilities and garbage collection in these markets.
“We want to go cashless to collect revenue from these markets to avoid corruption. We want to work with banks to provide us with swiping cards, so that this money goes directly to the account,” Kisaka said.
KCCA will also continue with the process of organising the public transport system in the city and ensuring the boda boda industry is regulated.
“We are not chasing boda boda out of the city but organising them. On some roads and the CBD, they will not be allowed in. We are looking for ways for boda bodas to coexist with others,” Kisaka said.
With solid waste management still a big issue in Kampala, Kisaka says in 2023, KCCA is to increase garbage collection and introduce innovations for better waste management.
With the implementation of PDM taking centre stage 2023 is the year when the beneficiaries are expected to receive the money to invest in their enterprises.
Kisaka calls for more funding
In terms of financing needs, KCCA needs an average of Uganda Shillings 100 billion per year just to maintain the roads in a motorable condition. This includes management of street lights, traffic lights, road safety, and walkways.
KCCA received Uganda Shillings 26 billion from the road fund for road maintenance which the ED says is little money compared to work at hand.
“About 360 km of roads are old and have been patched too many times. Experts say that, on average, a paved road is expected to last 15 – 20 years before reconstruction. The 360km in Kampala is over 35 – 40 years old. They need overhauling, they have outlived their lifetime,” Kisaka said.
For road reconstruction and road upgrading or overhauling, KCCA needs on average Uganda Shillings 375bn per year to be able to redeem at least 50 km of dead roads per year.
The other challenge is encroachment on wetlands, poor disposal of garbage which have exacerbated the challenge of floods in the city.
However, Kisaka said the drainage system will have to be improved and people encroaching on wetlands cautioned.
“We are therefore boldly asking the government to prioritise Kampala and avail us a larger budget for roads in the city so that we can realise a Smart City agenda,” Kisaka said revealing that the consumptive budget cannot build a smart city.
“We need to invest significantly in infrastructure to create the capital city we dream of. The problem is not management, we know what to do and the plans are there. We need funding,” Kisaka said.