Depending on how new your house is, chances are your bathroom is finished with tiles made in Kapeeka Town. Goodwill Tiles, the only Ugandan-made tile-brand on the market, has its origins in this little town deep in Nakaseke District in central Uganda.
The tile factory is only one of many several brand new industrial establishments in the area, most of which are still under construction. Kapeeka is home to one of the most promising nascent industrial parks in the country.
If the government were to erect a memorial for the people of greater Luwero for the sacrifices they made for Museveni’s guerilla outfit in the 80s, this industrial park would be it. In the low-lying plain just half a kilometer Northeast of the town, lies an industrial park measuring hundreds of acres.
Probably a square kilometre. Construction work can be seen in every corner of the park. Silos, office blocks, warehouse and roads being laid out at a feverish pace. Great machines moving the earth to make way for a new era that is dawning on this quiet hinterland.
Looking at all those warehouses coming up all at once, one can only imagine what the future holds for the people of Kapeka. The signs of the future can already be seen in the trading centre.
Little eating places, too small and low-level to be called restaurants, can be seen hosting international patrons. Big SUVs can be seen whizzing back and forth in the little town.
There are high chances the people have not been prepared to take advantage of this new change, but some are bound to wake up and smell the coffee, literally. It should not take very long for a coffee house to open in this place. Or a Chinese restaurant.
For a small trading centre like Kapeeka, surrounded in all directions by kilometres of farms on all sides, to find itself hosting such high-octane activity in a matter of two or three years, spells a definite upset in the property landscape.
Goodwill Tiles factory alone is said to employ over one thousand workers. That is on top of workers in other factories. There are the construction workers building all those structures too.
All these workers must depend on the townspeople for accommodation, food and entertainment.
All of a sudden, demand for accommodation, both permanent and temporary has gone up. From the commodities market to restaurants and services of all kinds, the demand has gone up.
The Nakaseke District Council Speaker, Divine Nakigudde who happened to be a resident of Kapeeka town, says there has been dramatic changes in land prices in Kapeeka.
“While three years ago you could get an acre of land at Shs3m in Kapeeka, today an acre is 15m and above. The prices are shooting up,” she says.
And these a little out of town. Those close to the Industrial park are much more expensive.
Nakigudde says there is such an increase in the town’s population that people are waking up to the opportunities.
“When you want to see how many people live in the town, you should stand in the town at 6am or 6pm. The town that barely has any rental homes is now full of new entrants who have come to work,” Nakigudde says.
Nakigudde says most people never had the plan to build rental homes a few years ago, but that is changing now.
Gone are the days when people strictly constructed shops and personal homes in Kapeeka. Today, there is more demand for accommodation than there is for shops. People are starting to build rental properties for accommodation. Anyone who owns land in and around Kapeeka town is will have great opportunities to say the least.
Anyone who buys land in Kapeeka today will have great opportunities, will build rental properties in Kapeeka in this era will smile to the bank in a few years to come.
A local broker in Kapeeka Town says while rent was shs20,000 three years ago, today most single-rooms for accommodation today go for shs80,000.
“While a few years ago no one wanted to rent accommodation, the story is different today. A room that has a toilet and running water in it starts at shs100,000. Three years ago, no one cared about running water,” he says.