What you need to know:
- The issue: Flooding in Kampala.
- Our view: Kampala Capital City Authority has to make sure that garbage management in the city is improved. What usually clogs the drainage systems is polythene bags and plastic bottles dumped by irresponsible people.
This week, a video of a truck pulling a taxi out of a flooded section of the Kampala Northern Bypass went viral.
In a desperate attempt to prevent the occupants of the submerged taxi from drowning, the cement truck carefully reversed into the running water and pulled the car out, attracting cheers from onlookers who braved the rain to watch the operation.
This is just one of the videos of residents recording episodes of floods in Kampala. Every downpour has its unique stories, ranging from flooded roads, offices, collapsed buildings, to sadly, even deaths.
This prompted Speaker of Parliament Anita Among this week to ask the Executive for a detailed report of the issue.
“When you talk about climate change, Government Chief Whip, I want a serious report on the flooding in Kampala. If you go to Namasuba now [reference to whenever it rains], Busega, Forest Mall, Namboole, it is terrible. Can we have your ministers responsible to bring a report on that?” Ms Among asked.
A drive around the city will show you that Kampala is currently a big construction site, with heavy machinery stationed at corners of major roads. Our appeal is that we use this opportunity of the repairs of the roads to address the issue of poor drainage that is among the major causes of flooding in the city.
We ask the authorities to ensure that there is value for money when it comes to constructing drainage systems on the city roads.
But we are also alive to the fact that many other factors are responsible for the mess in the city whenever it rains. We have previously seen floods on newly constructed roads simply the water has nowhere to pass. People have encroached on wetlands and built on waterways. We have to ensure that wetlands are protected and those who have encroached on them are evicted.
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) also has to make sure that garbage management in the city is improved. What usually clogs the drainage systems is polythene bags and plastic bottles dumped by irresponsible people.
Finally, we must have emergency teams around the flood-prone areas to help those in despair. We have watched videos of people being washed away by running water, or cars submerged under water. We need to have emergency teams around these black spots since the issue of climate change and flooding will not go away overnight.
In the meantime, we can start by improving the drainage systems as we rehabilitate city roads.