Locals welcome works on Lubigi channel

A section of the Lubigi drainage channel at Bwaise in Kampala in 2018.                        PHOTO | RACHEL MABALA

What you need to know:

  •  The upgrade, which started last year, is funded by the World Bank under the second phase of Kampala Institutional and Infrastructural Project (KIIDP-2).
  •  The project is being implemented by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

Residents of Bwaise in Kampala, have welcomed construction works on Lubigi channel, which will affect sections of Kawaala and Nabweru areas.

 The upgrade, which started last year, is funded by the World Bank under the second phase of Kampala Institutional and Infrastructural Project (KIIDP-2).
 The project is being implemented by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

The city authority embarked on the works to widen the channel last year to manage huge volumes of water.
However, the construction had been delayed by project affected persons (PAPS) who demanded compensation.

KIID-P’s communications specialist, Ms Agnes Biribonwa, told Daily Monitor yesterday that properties of the affected people were valued by the Chief Government Valuer, and they have started presenting documentation for payment.

 However, she said the PAPs on the Bwaise section of Lubigi were compensated under KIIDP-1 IN 2011, adding  that they have already engaged the community to ensure that boundaries of the channel are clear.

“Initially, an oversight was made regarding the presence of residents on Lubigi channel. The drainage corridor was acquired and property owners compensated under KIIDP 1,”  Ms Biribonwa said.

“KCCA has since engaged all affected persons and assured them of compensation and dispelled wrong information. These meetings attracted 98 per cent of the targeted residents and were organised with the support of local leaders,” she added.

Ms Biribonwa said compensation will be given based on the affected property. The property includes structures and crops. Asked about how much money will be paid to the PAPs, Ms Biribonwa said the government valuer uses market prices to determine the amount.

Affected residents acknowledged engagements with KCCA, saying they will pave way for the project since government has already committed itself to compensate them.
 Mr Abdulnoor Nyombi, one of the affected people from Kawaala, asked government to expedite the compensation process.

“We want that money very soon because we don’t have where to go now. But if they pay us on time, then we can easily get new places. My other worry is that they might pay money which is not commensurate with the value of my property. I call upon government to address this matter,” he said.

Ms Edith Nantongo, another affected person, said: “If they pay us on time, we will have to plan because we have families and would like to relocate to other places. But if the payments delay, then we will be affected.”
 The chairperson of Nabweru South I, Ms Dorothy Nankya, whose residents will also be affected, said her people are willing to cooperate with government to ensure construction of the channel.

 “I have engaged my people and explained to them how the upgrade of the channel will benefit them and are positive about it. The most important thing is commitment from government and once this is done then we cannot block such a project,” she said.

 Asked about how far the compensation has gone, KIIDP’s social development specialist, Dr David Kyaddondo, said about 10 files have been sent to the audit section for payment while other files are being examined.
Dr Kyaddondo said the process had been delayed by some claimants who didn’t have proper documentation.

 “The challenge is that the affected people have land which belongs to Buganda Land Board, and this means that the latter has to write to us to confirm that the affected person is the rightful owner of that kibanja. But if  they hand land titles, we would have just done a search at Lands office and the process would have been completed by now,’’ he said.

Lubigi channel

Lubigi Channel is 2.8 kilometres long. It’s being expanded and lined with concrete from Bwaise to Kawaala using the already acquired drainage corridor of roughly 40 metres.  

The section from Kawaala Bridge to Hoima Road will be widened to roughly 70 metres.  The first phase of Lubigi was constructed by Spencon Services to prevent flooding in Bwaise, Kawempe Division but it is constantly clogged with silt, polythene which causes backflow of water.

The swamp has feeder tributaries on Kampala–Mityana Road to Buloba, on  Kampala–Masaka Road towards Kyengera on Kampala-Hoima Road towards Nansana and on Sentema Road that stretches from Mengo to Sentema. The construction works on both Lubigi and Nakamiro are being undertaken by China Railway 10 Engineering Group Company Limited.

The Kampala Northern Bypass Highway is built within the Lubigi wetland for more than half of its length. While the Bwaise slum is entirely built within the Lubigi wetland.
The other channel currently under construction is Nakamiro which measures 3.2 kilometres.

It is being expanded and lined with concrete from Kazo Angola to Lubigi. The channel will have an average width of 7 metres.

Kampala’s drainage is mainly through eight primary channels, including Lubigi, Nakivubo, Kinawataka, Nalukolongo, Kansanga and Ggaba, Mayanja/Kaliddubi, Nakelere/Nalubaga, and Walufumbe and Mayanja North. These are served by numerous secondary and tertiary systems.

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