Historic enumerations to begin in Uganda

by James Tayler


Uganda’s urban population is estimated at 5 million people (2009) of which 60% live in slums; Uganda is targeting to uplift the lives of at least one million people by the year 2020 through implementing the developed slum upgrading strategy and action plan. This localization of the MDG 7 target 11 is in direct recognition that slums are a development challenge that must be addressed to create harmony in our societies. This therefore calls for coordinated policies and actions related to slum-upgrading, environmental management, infrastructure development, service delivery and poverty-reduction at large.

Kampala is the largest city in Uganda, and the country’s capital city. It is a rapidly growing city with a 5% increase in population annually; it has an estimated nighttime population of around 1.5 million people, doubling during the day as people travel into the city for work. Infrastructure and service provision with the capital are severely deficient, and the city lacks the capacity to adequately serve the growing population. The government has no clear information about how many slums exist in Kampala and this shows the lack of basic information that can be used for planning any development and consequently the informal settlements have been left out of the city plans.

After 8 years of working together towards poverty alleviation and improving access to basic services, the slum dwellers of Kampala have realised the need to undertake research to better understand their community problems but also to ensure that they can use the information to lobby and advocate for their rights.

The study will be undertaken in five divisions of; Nakawa, Makindye, Rubaga, Kawempe and Kampala Central. The process is expected to involve; a count of structures, Households, Health Facilities, Drainage, estimated population by sex, Adult _Children Ratio, community development programs and interventions etc.

The process

This journey to what has been considered by the communities as a successful settlement profile has not overlooked the involvement of the City Council of Kampala and the Central government through Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban development as consensus meetings were held to agree on the activity and the roles of the different stakeholders. The Local council leaders are consulted through meetings that are being held at the 5 divisions that make up Kampala City. The federation has organised meetings to select the enumeration teams and facilitators that are leading in the process of data gathering.

The goal

The federation will be conducting enumerations in 5 cities, and will represent the largest and most comprehensive enumeration of the urban poor in Uganda’s history. The task is now for the federation to mobilise the communities and begin to identify members who will be trained to conduct the surveys.