Lands, Housing and Urban Development minister, Judith Nabakooba has cited limited funding as a reason projects under the Sustainable Urbanisation and Housing (SUH) programme are stalling.
This follows the performance of this programme for the past three years by Eng Kenneth Kaijuka, the chief executive officer at National Housing. He noted that government has vast idle land and some of it has already been encumbered by squatters due to insufficient funds to develop it.
“Housing is not financed by the government, it purely depends on loans. We need capital to develop better accommodate for people. The good news is that planning has been done by National Housing,” he said.
Kaijuka revealed some of the stalled projects including Bukerere Satellite City project, which was supposed to have 1,000 homes, has stalled for 10 years since planning was conducted. A plan for a parliamentary village in Lubowa also never received funding.
He explained that areas which already have squatters need the government to embark on condominium development.
Speaking at the leadership meeting convened on Thursday, November 9, at Mestil Hotel in Kampala, Nabakooba said a lot would have been achieved if there was enough funds to finance the projects under this programme.
SUH is a five year programme that started in the financial year 2020/2021.
“Resources have delayed our works but in the coming budget, we want to see what can be prioritised. There are areas where we have not done anything but I do not think we are lazy, we are going to assess our performance and identify areas where we can improve,” she said.
Nabakooba revealed that in subsequent years, her ministry will avail physical plans for all new cities to reduce the number of slums in the country. She is working to ensure that all the newly created cities get plans.
“The mistake that was done in Kampala should not be repeated. You may find that it had planned for 30,000 people but currently has five million. We are planning for solid waste management, building affordable houses, improving drainage systems, making all areas in the cities accessible with good roads to reduce the traffic and congestion,” she explained.
In the previous years, National Housing has provided decent housing and commercial buildings including office infrastructure.
Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, the State minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, asked the technical personnel to work towards improving infrastructure in Kampala to create a better city.
“Cabinet approved the National Physical Development plan 2022/40 to provide a holistic strategy for resolving sectoral pressures on land uses amid the country’s growing population. I went to India in 2002 when the cities had no toilets and some people were sleeping on the streets. Today, their cities are developed and people are living in decent houses. It is possible to have smart, clean and advanced cities,” she said.
Sustainable Urbanisation and Housing is a programme under the National Development Programme (NDP III) implementation framework under the leadership of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development that offers policy guidance on urbanisation and housing in the country.
The leadership meeting was attended by various ministries including Gender, Finance, Lands, Works and Transport. The stakeholders discussed strategies that will help to develop the cities.