What you need to know:
The issue: City sanity
Our view: This disorganisation and negligence should stop if we are to prepare better for future international events and develop. We should be intentional about our progress as opposed to working in ad hoc mode.
In the run-up to Uganda hosting the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and G77 plus China (G77+China) summits last month, Kampala, became a beehive of activities aimed at changing the city’s face ahead of the D-day.
In fact, Parliament approved a Shs3.5 trillion supplementary budget to assist in the preparations. These included road constructions, painting pavements and planting flowers to beautify the city, among other activities. In the blink of an eye, we no longer had potholes on major roads and garbage was significantly reduced because workers were on standby to grab any rubbish before it landed on ground.
For a moment, there was order on our city roads as there were reduced boda bodas and beggars on the streets. All this proved that we can transform our cities and the country at large if we choose to prioritise it. But ever since the summits ended, the good progress we had made has since gone to waste.
There is reduced road maintenance and we are slowly receding to our default setting of survival. The flying trash is hitting our faces, street children are back in full swing, snatching our valuables, and boda bodas have returned with a traffic mess. It is also common not to see the flowers we planted ahead of the summits.
That is likely to go on until 2027 when Uganda will be hosting Afcon with Kenya and Tanzania. That is when we will wake up again to last-minute preparations. Should we always wait to host international events to see some sanity around us?
This disorganisation and negligence should stop if we are to prepare better for future international events and develop. We should be intentional about our progress as opposed to working in ad hoc mode.
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