Sonde: From killing ground to growing residential area

Thursday July 20 2017

Although previously shunned, a number of

Although previously shunned, a number of residential houses have been built, making Sonde one of the areas people want to settle in. Photos by Ismael Kezaala. 

By Roland D Nasasira

Sonde is located in Misindye Parish, Goma Sub-county, Mukono District, 16 kilometres from Kampala town. The population of the area is average with a number of both commercial and residential houses.
Abubaker Yawe, the area chairman, says approximately 10 years ago, Sonde was a remote place with no signs of development due to the effects of the guerrilla war.

According to Yawe, massacres at the neighbouring Nakiyanja swamp, approximately 500 metres from Sonde Trading Centre, forced a number of people to shun living in the area.
“People used to fear to settle here [Sonde]. It was in the late 1980s that people started buying plots of land to build houses. The settlement was at a slow pace. The few houses that existed at the time were distant from each other,” Yawe explains.

Many businesses have been started.

Many businesses have been started.

Why the place is developing
As a virgin residential area at that time, it was characterised by idle huge chunks of land that the new settlers who flocked the place did not have ready money to acquire plots. This, Yawe says, attracted land developers who bought off some of the land, split and demarcated it into affordable plots and sold them off cheaply to prospective settlers. By late 2000s, the place had gained a steady growing population. As the population grew, it increased the demand for land, hence the increase in the cost.
“Although there is still vacant land, it won’t stay that way for long. The area is suitable for settlement because it is a quiet residential place with potential for small scale agriculture and home gardening,” Yawe narrates.

Improved services
Approximately six years ago, the main sources of water in and around Sonde were man-made water wells and boreholes. Until National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) extended its services to the area, it is when most, if not all residents got the taste of piped water.
Currently, Sonde is according to Yawe, home to five secondary schools, including St Michael High School and more than 10 primary and infant schools.
It is also home to Development Microfinance, a local micro financial institution that enables local businessmen and women to save and borrow money at relatively low interest rates to invest in business.

A number of residential houses have been set up

A number of residential houses have been set up in the area.

When Pope Francis visited Uganda in November 2016, the approximately 7.2 kilometre road that stretches from Namugongo to Seeta Trading Centre was tarmacked leading to development in Sonde.
“Two years ago, this road (Namugongo to Seeta) was dusty. Ever since it was tarmacked, a number of commercial buildings have been built. We have also seen the cost of land go up because of increasing demand,” Yawe observes. The presence of commuter taxis that ply the Namugongo-Seeta road also make Sonde accessible either from Kampala city centre or from Mukono or Jinja Road.

Cost of rent and land
Robert Kibirige, a resident and businessman in the area, says currently, rent in Sonde will cost you between Shs100,000 to Shs200,000 for single rooms and double self-contained rooms while a fenced residential house goes for between Shs500,000 to Shs1m.

This is determined by the house model and facilities it contains.
According to Yawe, a 50x100 feet plot of land costs between Shs40m and Shs50m for residential purposes while the same size for commercial development costs between Shs100m and Shs150m.
The difference in cost of the same size of land is determined by the proximity of the plot to the main road. The nearer the plot is to the road, the more expensive it is.