Thinking of Kisenyi in Kyebando, Bwaise I about 5.5K.Ms away from the city centre brings to mind numerous impressions. A walk around the settlement makes one realize that despite challenges of flooding, garbage and poor drainages, people around and from other settlements get together to carry out activities that are done in the area like; carpentry, garages and selling car spare parts among others
Because accurate data not only makes urban poor settlements visible to local authorities but also brings together a community to gather data to help a settlement see itself more as a collective whole than as a set of individual households, Enumerations can help identify common priorities, common needs and help to focus and mobilize residents.
ACTogether Uganda and the National slum dwellers federation of Uganda with support from Global Land Toll Network (GLNT) carried out enumeration in the area with an aim of ascertaining the number of households in the area, number of structures and the issues affecting the area.
Some of the commonly identified issues;
- Security of tenure.
- Youth Unemployment
- Drug Abuse.
Photos of the undertaken activities;
The photos show enumerators being taken through how to administer the questionnaire using the tables and how to conduct mapping;
The photos show structure numbering;
Photos of Structure mapping;
The photos below show the measurement of the different building’ length and width;
A community member informing residents of the enumeration exercise while calling upon them to be cooperative;
The enumeration exercise was done using tablets as seen below;
The photos show how floods affect the different houses;
Houses abandoned because of floods;
Some of the businesses in the area are shown in the photos below;
Blog by Silver Micheal Owere, Sanitation ofiicer ACTogether Uganda.
ACTogether Uganda and the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda draw attention to the sanitation challenges faced by the slum dwellers. In an attempt to continue and consolidate the objective of improving the living conditions of slum dwellers in Kampala through increased access to water and sanitation services, different beneficiaries in Nakawa, Makindye, Rubaga, Kawempe and Kampala Central have been reached out to and a number of activities done whose output will guide the achievement of the intended outcomes and ultimate objectives.
Sensitization of the community on sanitation in forums; this is done through municipal development forum (MDF) meetings held in the different divisions of; Makindye, Kampala Central, Rubaga, Kawempe and Nakawa, the sanitation team uses this platform to inform community members about available sanitation loans, the new toilet prototypes and the process of giving out loans.
Toilet construction; the construction process is done by federation (community) members who were trained by ACTogether Engineers. 13 Toilet stances were constructed in the regions of Rubaga, Kampala central, Makindye and Nakawa serving 174 (Male 64 and Female 110) beneficiaries both direct and indirect in those regions from January to date.
The photos above show toilet team during construction process of 2 and 1 stance toilets
Newly constructed toilets of 2 stance and 1 stance in Kamwokya as seen below
Great impact has been registered in areas where these toilets were constructed; there has been improved hygiene and sanitation in the households living around because there is proper disposal of waste, there is reduction of bad odour in the area and people are appreciating the role of federation in boosting the health and hygiene of their community. The local leaders have also appreciated the work and more people are referred to federation and ACTogether to access sanitation loans especially land lords without proper toilets.
Project Management Committee (PMC) Training; after construction toilets all beneficiaries of new toilets are convened to sensitize them on the management and maintenance of biofill toilets. 1 PMC training was done in the this half of the year for the beneficiaries of 13 stances constructed and all these toilets are working well because the users have adhered to the guidelines that were given to them during the training
The photos below show some of the training sessions for PMC and beneficiaries of toilets
Sanitation supervision and monitoring; this is an ongoing process in which a team from ACTogether Uganda and Federation visits the community where the construction is being done or a completed toilet to do a spot check for quality assurance. During the site supervision teams also verified the number of beneficiaries in relation to size of the toilet, the availability of land and supporting documents to that land.
Peer to Peer sanitation exchange; Beneficiaries from the different divisions of Kampala convene at an agreed upon venue to share knowledge on the management and maintenance of these biofill toilets whilst sharing several issues and challenges they are finding in their regions/divisions and coming up with a plan that will guide them on the management of the toilets and at the end of the day they went back satisfied.
The photo below shows a group of community members being taught about biofill toilet
Impact and Policy; the federation success in this area of sanitation has increased its visibility to different stakeholders working in this particular area. At the national level, ACTogether and NSDFU are members of the Uganda National Solid Waste Strategy committee steered by the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development which focuses on how municipalities can manage solid waste. Presently, municipalities are preparing individual solid waste plans to feed into the National Strategy.
The sanitation projects have also acted as proof to government agencies that communities have the potential to initiate and manage projects.
Blog by Simon Kayiwa federation documentor Makindye
Have you ever been in a crowded and dirty place like Katwe? one that makes your nose close with disgust . The sanitation in Katwe is absolutely terrible and people seem ignorant and careless.
Near the retail shops and under the wooden bridges which leads to these shops of Main Street. Plastic bottles were scattered on the ground due to careless customers and shop owners. As you continue your way into the settlement from the main streets, you will notice that poor garbage disposal and management was made from unknown hell and thrown to this slum area to stay but this looks not to bother the residents not even a minute. Makindye slum dwellers federation started a war long time back to fight this habit and create away for good sanitation and waste management participating in several community cleanup exercises and encouraging more residents to join the federation
It is a great experience being a member of the slum dwellers federation. You will need alot more words to express what it feels like. Or better I would say, community needs to feel it to understand how it is. Only passion can drive you in, and will keep you in as long as you could. Few weeks back members of slum dwellers federation in Makindye participated in community general cleaning around Katwe and fixed the ugly space which has been used as a dump yard by the locals.
The cleaning was achieved by 6 members of the federation with 2 village volunteers in 2 hours with amazing energy and enthusiasm!
The exercise was spear headed by the Lake Victoria Environment project under the Kampala City Council authority that worked joined hands with Makindye slum dwellers federation. Makindye Federation chairperson Francis Ssebuguluse talked about the exercise as a continuous and purposeful campaign “The purpose of our 'Community Clean Up' is to literally clean our own environments and to spread the message that we must value our own communities. We will not stop; this is a movement, not a moment.” He said.
A water drainage channel and roadsides were also cleaned
blog by Francis mawejje, documentation intern June-August
The phrase above is synonymous with contemporary development practitioners and planners in African urbanizing centers. This comes at a time when the Africa is experiencing rapid levels of urbanization currently estimated at an average of about 3.5% annually. Much as people may argue that these are still low in comparison to the levels of urbanization in developed countries, it nevertheless poses a challenge for the governments in these countries. The World Bank estimates that the largest share of the African population shall in the forth coming decades be living in cities that are threaten by the sky-rocketing rate of slum growth (Africa Development Bank Group, 2012). Urbanization presents development opportunities and often signals transformation of settlements from rural to urban. Whereas that is the case, it also poses enormous challenges for people as it brings along a myriad of social, economic, political and cultural effects that can be severe and adverse if not addressed well enough. The increasing complexities on the discourse of urban governance and development require uniquely designed approaches that bring on board all people that are affected by policies on urban agenda as equal stakeholders. There is need for governments and urban authorities to balance the development equilibrium. Much as emphasis has in the past been largely focuses on people rights by non-government organizations and civil society, their duties and responsibilities have been sidelined. An ever increasing number of urban dwellers even make urban governance a conundrum. Issues relating to maintaining minimum levels of sanitation in communities are not well addressed in most of the settlements. For instance, in Kampala, much as the number of households with access to sanitation facilities is steadily growing currently estimated at over 70%, the city authorities are grappling with problems of waste management. It is a challenge that has for some time persisted and whose impact has been heavily felt by those living in the city slums. Perhaps one could say it is a moral issue that needs to be addressed through schools or have a law to penalize those found poorly disposing off waste. The sight is evident as I walk through the streets of a crammed city with intense noise, dust and piles of waste that lie on the roadsides especially in the downtown part pf the city. This is the case despite the visible signs of newly installed waste disposal points by the city authority. I am intrigued to ask a by-stander closest. Halo Ssebo (Sir) he is quick to respond and eager to hear I have to say to him. With no hesitation, I ask “why do you think people still dumb rubbish carelessly on the streets even in existence of waste collection bins?” well, people here think it is the responsibility of the city authority alone to collect waste from where ever it is dumped. They do it as a response towards the many taxes that are exorbitant that city authority levies against their activities. Ignorantly, they know less that this is a boomerang that would come back to haunt them. Clearly, a huge gap in sensitization of these men and women needs to be addressed. Promoting good urban governance requires balancing of the equilibrium with duties and responsibilities given as much attention as rights.
Blog by Simon Kayiwa , youth documentor Makindye
I am writing this from a slum settlement not far away from the capital Centre. This is Nsambya East in Kampala Makindye division where gangsters are miraculously multiplying their numbers than yesterday as young ones keep joining the gang like babies running to see Father Christmas. This is becoming a huge national security problem that keeps challenging Uganda police year to year that not even any amount of gospel can scare this juvenile evil an inch away from the community eye, or the agony caused to the residents with prayers just despite the highest number of churches here.
So You're welcome to Nsambya if you have heard any alarming voices "omubbi,omubbi" chasing after thugs trying or succeeded to break into a house. You're fully a resident of this area literally if your handbag or cell phone has been snatched away along the road but I would say you are more than a solution if you did sacrifice time to attend a settlement forum recently.
If you're one of those whose houses have been broken into, I pray that you don't die now for I see medicine of hope in the remarks of Mr Hassan Kiberu the chairperson for theNational slum dwellers federation of Uganda during the last settlement meeting that such acts among others can be fought to zero if we work together as the community on issues that befalls us.
On 28th of July this year, I met with this boy preferred to be identified as Maker; an alleged former member of the Kifesi crew who is also said to be a crime preventer at around Ttawo zone with hope I could recover my missing stuff after my house had been robbed clean and left like a mosque. A friend directed me to look for a young man who identified himself as Maker by nick name to help me trace my missing stuff. so havingI found him, he begs me to escort him to some place certainly a hideout around Katwe- Kinyoro Where he expects all could be hidden before put on market at a gentleman’s price . According to his plan, he was to introduce me there as his client looking for a TV to buy and then police would come in later if all went through as calculated. It is a habit that whenever you lose property, there is someone you would refer to as an insider to help you at least trace it and many times residents that use this approach don’t report to police but use such people .We reached near, what I referred as the hide out and guess what am seeing? A group of young lads in their teen ages seated and jazzing about their recent operation they did a day before around Munyonyo at a certain beach. This was ready evidence that I was standing before them the notious Kifeesi. As if this was not enough, a V- mark hair cut style one of them carried in his head had to convince me not to consider any benefit of doubt. This is one of their trademarks according to the residents.
WHO ARE THEY?
This gang is notoriously known as 'Kifeesi' and its said to have started 12 years back at around Katwe Kinyoro with its base in Juko zone and then started terrorizing Kampala residents in a series of daring broad day light robberies.
The name Kifesi according to nick named "Maker" whose identity I prefer keeping blank came from their boss who covers his face with a mask while carrying out operations not to be seen by any of the crew members but many residents say this is just a myth.
The gang is so common along Entebbe road and areas around. Unlike other petty thieves, the Kifeesi moves in coasters (mini buses) that drop them off to their venue on special operations like beaches music concerts and public rallies. The vehicles later pick them up when the operation has been completed from an area agreed upon during the planning of the attacks. They move with whistles which they blow to alert each other in case of any trouble. Many people have been disturbed by how these gang boys get out of police cells. This is the truth, when they loot; they keep part of the money and save it with a trustable person who is not part of the crew and some of the people they use are usually local police officers themselves. Immediately this person learns that a member is arrested, he runs to the station and rescues the netted gang member using this money.
Although one may think these are energetic men, this has been not true according to Maruf, a local security officer in Nabisaalu."They are young children between 12 and 20 years .... "
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE!
In June the inspector general of police (IGP) announced amnesty to members of this gang who would bring out himself and quit openly in public .Following this, a group of over 100 children from the Kifesi crew gave in themselves into police's hands for forgiveness during a security meeting in Nsambya East and vowed to have quit the gang there and then. The police believe that this will reduce on the number of children that had joined this criminal gang.
Night security monitoring around the known black spots in Nsambya and the neighborhood such as Nabisaalu, clock tower, Railway zone, Ttawo zone and Kibuye among others has been done although the problem is only getting worse.