Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) this week announced that it has no money to implement its new drainage master plan. Considering that we are currently in the rainy season, this is not good news, especially in light of the flooding the season comes with.
The flooding usually happens because rainwater has nowhere to flow but the roads, pathways and people’s houses. The drainage channels they should be flowing into either don’t exist, or are too clogged. In the end the water brings traffic to a standstill, displaces people and causes a general mess in the city.
The city authority’s news is, therefore, worrisome, especially since it did not stop at that. KCCA is hopeful it will get the funds needed for the drainage plan in the next three years. The impression seems to be that city dwellers will have to make peace with the inconveniences brought on every time it rains heavily.
This would be unfortunate, and we hope we are mistaken in our conclusions.
The authority has been inundated by money woes in the last few weeks; from an auditor highlighting payment discrepancies, to money not being available for several projects such as the city abattoir. The money issue, therefore, exists.
However, it is not enough to admit that it exists or lament about it. The latter would be akin to a father who castigates his child for being out of pocket money that was supposed to last the entire term without giving them constructive advice. A good father would suggest ways the child can be creative with what they do have in order to survive the term.
Fortunately, KCCA has more at its disposal that a child in boarding school. The acting executive director boasted of the several wins the authority has had in the last eight years. One of the wins he mentioned is tightening the noose on illegal developments in water catchment areas such as wetlands and drainage channels.
Indeed, we have witnessed several people being evicted from these areas. But these are usually what some have described as the ‘small fish’. Meanwhile, construction continues to happen in wetlands, and garbage continues to find its way to drainage channels, so the noose is not yet as effect.
Yet that is where the opportunity to make the best of what the authority does have is. There are natural catchment areas, which if not encroached on would do their work. There are existing drainage channels, which if cleared, would mean that water flows freely.
We, therefore, call on the authority to truly tighten the noose in deed, not just in word to reduce city flooding.