Govt moots new physical development plan

Lands, Housing and Urban Development minister Judith Nabakooba. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  •  The Department of Physical Planning in the Ministry of Lands is proposing a review of the National Physical Development Plan (DPP) every five years

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) is expected to launch the new National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) 2020/2040 next month to cater for all infrastructure development across the country. 

The NPDP is in line with the implementation of the National Physical Planning Act 2010, and the country’s Vision 2040, and provides a holistic strategy for resolving sectoral pressures on land use amid the country’s growing population.

Speaking at a meeting with the chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission, Ms Safia Nalule, in Kampala yesterday, Lands minister Judith Nabakooba said Cabinet approved the new plan. 

Ms Nabakooba, however, said  the ministry is waiting for the plan to be gazetted to pave way for its implementation. 
“Cabinet approved the NPDP 2020/ 2040, which is the first of its kind in Uganda and it’s going to guide the entire planning of our country from the regions, districts, sub-counties and villages in terms of structure development,” she said.

She added that the plan is expected to be published in the national gazette in the coming days.

Ms Nabakooba added that they are targeting to have a meeting with   local government officials because they are the enforcers of the physical plan in their respective districts and areas.

“Every  structure must have a physical plan…We believe that once we follow the new NPDP it will help us to streamline physical development across the country on land utilisation, tenure security, making land productive and  making tourism productive,” she said. 

Ms Nabakooba added that the plan will also cater for the old and new cities, which are now struggling with poor planning. She cited Kampala capital city, which she said was expected to accommodate 30,000 people in the plans but currently has more than five million people during the day.  

“The old plan cannot stand the taste of the future and good enough KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority) with the Land Ministry and the  National Physical Planning Board have embarked on a new plan for Kampala, which will be unveiled very soon,” she said 

Ms Nabakooba added that in the new plan for Kampala City, they will focus on decongestion and reducing gridlock on the roads. 

“We need to make sure that the residential areas are distinct from commercial  or business areas  to reduce  the congestion ,”she said. 

While speaking to the media, Ms Nalule said there is a need to fast track the approval, enactment   and enforcement of laws related to land management for inclusive development.

She cited the National Planner’s Registration Act 2023, National Physical Development Plan 2021/2040, Landlords and Tenants Act, Condominium property law  and the National Acquisition , Resettlement and rehabilitation policy. 

Ms Nalule added that lack of policies, guidelines and procedures to guide the population on human settlements and in inadequate affordable and decent housing have affected low income earners and other marginalised people, especially in urban centres.

“Non-adherence to the existing laws, which include the Physical Planning Act, 2020, has resulted in having structures in the road reserves, construction of inaccessible structures, especially for disabled people, and having roads without  pedestrian walkways,”she said. 

Ms Nabakooba said the new plan will also cater for the mushrooming fuel stations which the EOC said are putting people’s lives at risk.

“The ministry made regulations guiding on how the fuel stations should be established one year back,” she said.
Ms Nabakooba added that the guidelines were disseminated and they expect officials at local governments to guide on the establishment of fuel stations.  She, however, said the laws and guidelines are not being enforced, mainly because of corruption.  

About the new plan
 The Department of Physical Planning in the Ministry of Lands is proposing a review of the National Physical Development Plan (DPP) every five years.

The review aims at aligning the plan with the vision of the government.
However, the plan’s main objective is to guide physical development and promote sustainable land use management.

There will also be the preparation of Local Area Development Plans which would include proposing future strategies for potential growth.