Know Your Hood: Ggaba; a fishing hub close to the city centre

Wednesday September 18 2013

Know Your Hood: Ggaba; a fishing hub close to the city centre


By Emma Ikwap

Ggaba is in Makindye Division; along the northern shores of Lake Victoria at the southern slant of Kampala. There are over 10 zones in Ggaba and among them are; Ggaba trading centre, Katogo, Bbunga hill, Kawuku and Ggaba water LC1. Ggaba is mainly famous because of the main pumping stations of National Water and Sewage Corporation (NWSC) that supplies water to Wakiso, Kampala and Mukono district and because of its landing dock for fishing boats and being a commercial resort with private beaches. It’s both a commercial and residential area, interspersed between schools, universities and teaching institutions . Generally, people living in the southern and western parts of Ggaba are of a low income while the northern and eastern parts are for the upscale because they have a great view of the lake. Ggaba is a large area and fosters many re-known towns like Buziga and Bbunga among others.

Sixty three-year-old Hamis Gamwero who has lived in Ggaba for four decades says, “Ggaba was a small area by the time I came to work here in 1986. It was bushy and I didn’t for once think it would grow and spread this big. We had only three shops in the whole of Ggaba”. Gamwero, also a former mechanical technician of NWSC and first chairman of Ggaba adds that. “The name Ggaba (a luganda word meaning serve) came to existence because the place had a small landing site, with a lot of fish. Whoever came was given fish freely just because of the great number of fish in the small site. Due to the serving sprit of the people in the area, revelers decided to name the place Ggaba.”

Ggaba is densely populated and is situated just after Kabalagala and Kasanga. . The road distance between Ggaba and the city Centre, Kampala is just 12 kM

Mzee Hamis says, “Development has been rapid since 1986, people were few, but as we speak it isn’t easy to find land for expansion because the population has consistently been growing. Many people moved from Luwero to Ggaba due to the Luwero triangle that left many antagonized and confused, many came people came in because of the quick-get-job of fishing.” He also says, “With the help of leaders and traders, we constructed a decent market which has a land title and has so far taken 20-years in place, it’s the main fish and vegetable selling point of Ggaba.” “We have had no thieves back then though we have a few of them. From the old days, once you were caught stealing or guilty of killing someone, you were thrown to the deep ends of the lake. This action has spread till today and trusts me; we have no thieves in our area or iron bar hit men.”

“A lot of people including foreigners who came to buy fish ended up buying land here because they wanted to be nearer to the landing site, these are the people who have built in posh areas like Buziga, Bbunga and surrounding areas of Ggaba hence leading to rapid development.”, says the Lc1 chairman of Ggaba trading center zone, 56-year-old Gabriel Musisi. Mzee Hamis insists he raised the idea of the constructing the main road back when it was in a bad state yet Ggaba was a big landing site. “I personally went to the Ministry of works and communication in Entebbe to request them to construct a tarmac road from Kasanga to Ggaba. Fortunately within no time, we got the reply that the Chinese were going to take up the contract since the government negotiated in terms of barter trade.” He also adds, “They tarmacked the road and it was later on re-constructed by the Japanese. The road is still in good condition since it was of top quality, but we just need the government to come up with its expansion because they have narrowed since people are building at the roadsides.” He says, “Without the landing site, Ggaba wouldn’t be developed like this, we have beautiful residential structures, beaches have come up, we even have tourist who come in thus leading to development of the area.”

“Transport has also developed,” says Mzee Hamis, “ twenty years ago, we had only one bus from the UTC that left in the morning and came back only in the evening, so if you missed it in the morning, then you had to wait for the next day.Now, with all the taxis, one pays Shs1500 to and from town.

Activities around Ggaba
There are many things going on around Ggaba, however fishing is the main economic activity. Most of the developement has happened due to the landing site. Hardware shops, retail shops, bod boda cycling, quarrying of sand among others.

Re-known places around Ggaba
Ggaba has many social places among them are schools like the main campus of Kampala university, Ggaba teachers training institute, St Mbuga Seminary School, Maranatha Christian school. Beaches like; K.K Beach, part of Munyonyo Resort Beach, Ggaba beach among others. Medical institutions like Ggaba Community Health Centre and Martyrs Family Clinic among others. The pumping stations of National Water and Sewage Corporation that supplies water to Kampala, Kiira and Mukono district, Ggaba Fish Market, Ggaba Police Station ,the main water treatment plant of National Water and Sewage Corporation and the House for the Blue Collar workers of NWSC.

Land and rent
Land in Ggaba is owned by the government and the Kabaka of Buganda.

Rent per month
A single room goes for Shs80,000 to Shs150,000
2 rooms go for Shs120,000 to Shs250,000
3 rooms go for Shs300,000 to Shs600,000
A self-contained house goes for Shs700,000 to Shs1.2m

50ft by 100 goes for Shs100m to Shs200m
100ft by 100 goes for Shs180m to Shs300m
100ft by 200 goes for Shs350m to Shs500m