Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

Constraints to Urban Planning and Management of Secondary Towns in Uganda

Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

Constraints to Urban Planning and Management of Secondary Towns in Uganda

Article excerpt

I. Introduction

Like most countries in Sub Saharan Africa, Uganda is experiencing rapid urbanisation. About 19% of the Uganda's population lives in urban areas and it is projected that by 2050 half of Uganda's population will be living in urban centres. Uganda's annual urban growth rate of 5.1 % is one of the highest in Africa. Due to institutional fragility as well as the failure to implement existing physical development plans however, most urban residents in Uganda live in informal settlements. (Figure 1)

Aside from a few municipalities like Jinja and Mbale that benefited from the initial colonial town development programme, most secondary towns in Uganda have been growing and expanding without a clear physical development strategy. Development in most secondary. In the absence of a coherent land compensation policy as well as the numerous weaknesses and constraints associated with existing municipal funding systems such as the National Road Fund (NRF) as well as the conditional grants from the central government, secondary towns with small local revenue base continues to grapple with the challenge of funding basic infrastructure such as roads, piped water and schools.

This study aims to understand and examine the constraints to physical planning as well as the management of secondary towns in Uganda. Research results are presented and discussed under various sections. Section one focuses on the background of the study. This is followed by a section on the objectives of the study. Next to this is the research methodology, followed by the scope of the study, key features of the secondary towns, current planning strategy in Uganda, urban management in Uganda, challenges and constraints to planning, best practices, conclusion and policy recommendations.

2. The Methods

The overall objective of this study is to examine the constraints to urban planning and management in secondary towns in Uganda. Specifically, the study aims to: (i) examine the current urban planning strategies and management styles in secondary towns in Uganda, (ii) examine the effectiveness of the current planning and management systems in promoting orderly urban development and providing basic infrastructure, and (iii) identify and examine the best practices from international experiences that are transferable to Uganda for better planning and management of secondary towns.

The study applied an eclectic mix of research methods. Specifically, the researchers used observation as well as face to face interviews to collect the required information. Face to face interviews targeting key informants such as representatives of Slum Dwellers International (SDI), representatives of Actogether, municipal officials, members of the municipal urban forum and local community leaders were carried out in the five TSUPU project towns of Mbale, Jinja, Arua, Mbarara and Kabale. An interview schedule was also used to carry out face to face interviews.

The selected key informants and stakeholders were targeted because: (a) they were knowledgeable about the issues being investigated in the five secondary towns; (b) there was need to assess the extent to which they areinvolved in promoting physical planning and good urban governance; (c) some of them are directly involved in the implementation of government programmes. Extensive review of the existing literature on slum development in Uganda and other countries was also carried out by the researchers. Slum profile reports prepared by Actogether and Slum Dwellers (SDI) in the secondary towns also reviewed. Best practices were identified for adoption in Uganda.

The study focused on slum settlements in secondary towns of Mbarara, Arua, Kabale, Jinja and Mbale. It also examined the constraints to physical planning and management in the five TSUPU project towns. TSUPU means the Secondary Cities Support Programme for Transforming Settlements for the Urban Poor in Uganda. The TSUPU project is funded by the World Bank and Cities Alliance. …

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