Buganda kingdom courts real estate companies to develop slums

Thursday November 14 2019

BIG DANGER: Most of the slums like Katanga have

BIG DANGER: Most of the slums like Katanga have drainage ditches carrying a mass of sewage, rotting garbage and plastic materials. Wassajja says that development of slums cannot be left to government alone, it must involve people with better education and exposure. File Photo 

By Stephen Otage

The Buganda Kingdom has said it is seeking for partnerships with real estate development companies to develop slums around the city and improve the living conditions there.

Speaking at a fundraising drive for money to construct low cost houses for the needy, Prince David Wassajja the younger brother to Kabaka Ronald Mutebi said with 60 per cent of the population comprising of the elderly, children and the disabled living in slums, development of slums cannot be left to government alone, it must involve people with better education and exposure.

“Chances are when you are born in a poor neighbourhood, it means poor health, poor education and chances are that if you are born in a family that has never owned a house, you will never own one and the cycle of poverty must be broken,” he said.

He said in developed countries, people initially thought that by building high-rise buildings to lock out the poor people, they thought they were protecting themselves. Instead, it turned out that the buildings increased crime because you cannot have rich people living side by side with the poor.

Housing the poor
Last Friday, Habitat for Humanity and Buganda Kingdom held a fundraising dinner at the Serena Hotel to raise money to build at least 10 decent houses for the poorest people living in Buganda Kingdom.

According to Mr Robert Otim, the National director Habitat for Humanity, this is a pilot project where they are trying to see how to introduce decent accommodation in slum areas around the city at a cheaper cost.

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“Buganda Kingdom has a population of 4.5 million and if the Kabaka decided that each of his subjects contributes Shs1,000, we could be able to close the housing deficit with the Shs4.5 billion they would have collected,” he said.

He added that with initiatives such as the Kabaka’s Birthday run, the Masaaza Cup if these events are linked to improving housing in the country, there would be no need for depending on donors because even Ugandans living in diaspora, would be interested in investing in such projects.

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