50% of workers walk to and from Kampala, study says

People walk on Ggaba Road in Kampala recently. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • The study, which also indicates that Kampala accounts for the largest share of Uganda’s urban population, notes that the current trends call for an urgent efficient public transport system in congested spaces such as Kampala Metropolitan Area

A study has indicated that at least 50 per cent of people who work in Kampala walk to and from the city centre on a daily basis. 
The study, which also indicates that Kampala accounts for the largest share of Uganda’s urban population, notes that the current trends call for an urgent efficient public transport system in congested spaces such as Kampala Metropolitan Area.   
 
 The study, which was commissioned by Friedrich-Elbert-Stiftung (FES) in 14 cities, seeks to promote urban social justice and equal distribution of opportunities for social mobility in different cities across Africa. 
Presenting the findings on Monday in Kampala, Mr Jacob Byamukama, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) deputy director roads management, said 50 per cent of workers in Kampala access the city by walking to and from home daily while 30 per cent use taxis (public transport), 10 per cent boda bodas and 10 per cent personal cars.   
However, the study noted, 83 per cent of workers who access the city through public transport use taxis while only 8.9 per cent use boda bodas. 

Mr Byamukama also noted that Kampala Capital City currently has a day population of four million, which reduces to 1.5 million at night with the 2.5 million commuting to the city centre within a distance of seven to 11 kilometres out of Kampala. 
 The findings, he said, therefore, create an urgent need to reform the public transport infrastructure such as formalising taxis by giving them route numbers and ensuring that they only stop at Bus Stops as well as formalising boda bodas with stringent traffic guidelines and code of conduct. 

During the study, participants noted that there was need to address needs of each mode of transport, highlighting the extent of involvement by both government and the private sector.  
Ms Amanda A. Ngabirano, the National Physical Planning Board acting chairperson and  Paratransit Urban Mobility Consultative Forum independent chairperson,  said while all modes of transport help Ugandans to access the city center there is need to reorganise public transport, especially in Kampala. 
Urbanisation
Mr Rolf Paasch, the Friedrich-Elbert-Stiftung resident representative, said the study was part of a regional programme that seeks to improve management of urbanisation in preparation for a period in which majority of Africans will be living in cities by 2040, thus the need to improve urban mobility as a precondtion for cities such as Kampala. 

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