Members of Parliament have decried what they regard as laxity in Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) approach towards managing the torrential floods in Kampala.
This was in response to a statement presented to Parliament on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 by the State Minister for Kampala City, Benny Namugwanya, on KCCA’s plans for controlling floods.
The MPs blamed the problem of flooding on the incompetence of KCCA, citing their failure to implement development projects in the city and corruption.
Hon. Richard Gafabusa Muhumuza (NRM, Bwamba County) said people have been given permission to build in wetlands and thus obstructing water catchment areas.
“The ecological purpose of swamps and wetlands has been undermined and because of corrupt officials, people have plans that have been approved by KCCA,” he said.
Hon. Fred Mwesigye (NRM, Nyabushozi County) said that citizens are to blame to a certain extent because of their actions in waste disposal.
“There is gross indiscipline with people violating rules and dumping carelessly; other people have built in wetlands; there is a lot of pollution of Lake Victoria; and the city needs to be decongested by building satellite cities,” Mwesigye added.
He noted that all these issues need to be addressed by the government through the responsible government agencies.
Hon. Gordon Arinda Kakuma (NRM, Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality) further criticised the Minister for lamenting over floods without giving any real solutions.
“We need to see action from KCCA instead of the Ministers of Kampala lamenting about the causes of flooding. There are laws to stop people from building in wetlands, poor disposal of waste and KCCA has been provided funds to improve the drainage of the city,” he added.
Hon. Betty Nambooze (DP, Mukono Municipality) and also Shadow Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority added that Kampala has become a battle ground of antagonistic politics at the expense of service delivery.
“Kampala leadership has failed to internalise the law constituting them. We gave them a Kampala Metropolitan Physical Planning Unit for them to effectively plan and organise this city,” she said.
Nambooze added that the Kampala Metropolitan Police should be instructed not to be selective in clamping down on people breaking the laws so that if they have to evacuate people from wetlands, no one is left behind.
She said that KCCA was given a grant to rectify the issue of drainage but they have failed.
“KCCA got money in form of a US$200 million grant to implement the Kampala Drainage Master Plan. However, it is going to expire in December before it is implemented,” she noted, adding that all this would go a long way to solve the problems of flooding.
Hon. Benny Namugwanya responded saying her statement was meant to inform Parliament about some of the challenges faced in trying to control floods in the country.
Namugwanya said that despite receiving funds from development partners to overhaul the drainage of Kampala, the government had failed to meet its part of the funding obligations.