Lungujja defies Kampala’s mess

Wednesday May 16 2018

Most of the homes in Lungujja are su

Most of the homes in Lungujja are surrounded by perimeter walls. Photo by Michael Kakumirizi 

By Roland D. Nasasira

When you get to Lungujja, it is evident that the number of residential houses surrounded by perimeter fences is higher than those not enclosed. However, those in the open are also decent. It is a place that has achieved and maintained a certain level of organised and planned settlement.

Located approximately five to seven kilometres from Kampala City Centre, Lungujja is one of the many other places that make up Rubaga Division.
The place comprises a number of old-looking houses whose beauty and designs have been maintained by renovating and remodelling, among other factors. These old-but renovated houses have sizeable compounds and trees that serve as shades for the residents.

Geographically, the place is composed of a gentle sloping terrain and thus preventing the place from flooding. There are also areas with flat terrains.

Rich landlord’s influence
Robert Kawagga, who has been a resident of the area all his life, explains that the influence of the bonafide land owners or landlords who did not want their land partitioned for sale into small plots partly explains why Lungujja still has a somewhat high level of organised settlement.

“I am talking about people who were born and raised in the area. They believe that a place that is developed and organised is one that is sparsely populated and when their children inherit their land, they believe in the same traditions.

This explains why it is one of the few places that are not overcrowded compared to other places of Kampala such as Kibuli,” Kawagga explains.

According to Kawagga, it is only a few landlords who have sold part of their land for meaningful development such as building of rental houses and other commercial facilities in the form of schools.

Cost of accommodation
Wilber Kimbowa, a real estate broker in the area, says compared to other places in Rubaga Division, rent in Lungujja is high because of many factors such as the organised settlement and its location from Kampala City Centre.

There, a self-contained house with two bedrooms surrounded by a perimeter wall costs approximately Shs600, 000 while a double self-contained house with one bedroom and a living room, an indoor kitchen, bathroom and toilet is rented out at approximately Shs350, 000.

Kimbowa adds that renting a self-contained residential house with at least four bedrooms is between Shs1m and Shs1.5m but that this is determined by its state and location from the main road.

“Rent is expensive here because Lungujja is surrounded and neighboured by many public amenities such as Lubiri Secondary School and Ndejje University.

“When you factor in the university student influx, it makes the cost of living more expensive because they are always on the lookout for residential houses near the university,” Kimbowa explains.

Much as there are a number of access roads within Lungujja that are tarmacked, many of them that mostly lead to homes are yet to see the light of tarmac.
According to Lydia Nantume, a resident of the area, road construction has been a slow process over the years. The few tarmacked roads have only been worked on due to the influence of rich and popular individuals.

Cost of living
When it comes to the cost of living, Nantume says the availability of Kitunzi Market that is located within Lungujja makes food access quite easy and cheap to locals.

According to her, the market is not only a source of fresh foods but also food sold in retail shops that can be stocked for future consumption.

Samuel Balagadde, a resident of the area, says, in the recent past, Lungujja was a hotspot for robbers. The crime rate reduced when a police station was established in the area.
“Much as police carries out night patrols, as residents, we keep our own security by installing bright security lights around our homes. They scare away thieves,” Balagadde explains, adding that this is in addition to monthly security meetings that are held in selected homes.