Uganda Country Programme

Strengthening inclusive urban development from the migration, infrastructure and governance angles

 

Cities Alliance has been active in Uganda for over a decade, working with national and local authorities, development agencies and community-based organisations to design and support a variety of urban operations. This wide range of activities lead to Uganda being identified as Cities Alliance’s first Country Programme.

 

Photo: Charlotte Hallqvist

 

One of the reasons for selecting Uganda was the benefit of being able to work with engaged and largely autonomous city governments. The results of this engagement are clear: in 2018, only four out of 53 African countries were rated positively for having an enabling environment to deliver services to their residents. Uganda was one of them; the others were Morocco, South Africa, and Tanzania.

 

Photo: Charlotte Hallqvist

 

The national government has an ambitious development framework, Uganda Vision 2040, that underlines its aspiration to become a middle-income country driven by growth and recognises the role Uganda’s cities play as drivers of economic development. While Uganda has made significant progress towards an enabling institutional environment and policy framework for cities, the country continues to suffer from high urban poverty and low access to basic services. And, despite noted progress on poverty and various SDGs, vulnerability to falling back into poverty remains very high, demonstrating the fragility of previous gains.

 

In a recent development, Uganda’s refugee population has almost tripled in the past three years, triggering further challenges. The country now hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa, around 1.39 million as of January 2020, with most coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Burundi. For these reasons, Cities Alliance identified Uganda as a priority country in its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.

 

Photo: Charlotte Hallqvist

 

Activities

 

In 2019, the Uganda Country Programme began implementing a safeguarding project for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway. The in-country team also coordinated activities under two Cities Alliance Joint Work Programmes: Cities and Migration (pilot projects in Jinja and Arua municipalities), and Equitable Economic Growth (Cities Campaign component23 and country-level financial modelling).

 

Membership

 

Uganda became a member of Cities Alliance in 2019, further consolidating Cities Alliance’s position as a key urban actor and convener in the country.

 

 

It’s about fighting slums and not slum dwellers, fighting poverty instead of fighting the poor.
Daudi Migereko, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Uganda, June 2012

Kampala – Jinja Expressway No One Worse Off Project: Implementing The Resettlement And Livelihood Restoration Plan (Rlrp) 

 

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The Kampala-Jinja Expressway (KJE) is an infrastructure project to develop a limited access tolled expressway in the central and eastern region of Uganda in East Africa. The project is financed by a consortium including Government of Uganda, the European Union, Agence Francaise de Développement and the African Development Bank.    

 

The construction of the KJE will bring enormous long-term benefits to the regional, national, and local economies and will help facilitate the better flow of goods and services to the benefit of all. However, there are also risks associated with constructing an expressway through a settled urban community with potentially adverse social, environment and economic impacts. Safeguards are mitigations measures meant to ensure that no environmental and social harm is done because of a project. Environmental and social benefits should be enhanced further by the safeguard intervention. The safeguard analysis and mitigation measures for the KJE project have been developed by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) with the support of Atacama and Earth Systems Consultants. For people that will be displaced, a full Resettlement Action Plan is mandatory under national law and international guidelines. A Resettlement and Livelihood Restoration Plan (RLRP) was prepared outlining procedures and methodologies to ensure that the project meets requirements set by the International Financial Corporation (IFC) Performance standards and AfDB Operational Safeguards.

 

Project Objectives

 

By end of the programme, the Right of Way (ROW) of the KJE expressway will be cleared for construction while all affected households and small and micro enterprises in targeted areas will have received support services to enable improved livelihoods, security of tenure and housing for longer term market, and neighbourhood incremental upgrading.

 

Project Outcomes

 

a)   The project runs effectively as supported by a strong managerial and institutional structure, a clear feasibility and a thorough inclusive and consultative process.

b)   Relocated households and businesses are re-integrated into the broader city and within communities with secure tenure and plans for long term incremental upgrading of their housing.

c)    The most vulnerable households are identified and empowered to adapt to the new situation caused by the impact of the KJE construction.

d)   Households presently dependent on the informal economy for their livelihood and impacted by the ROW are empowered with new space, skills and finance to either continue their enterprise or adapt to a new opportunity.

e)    The sustainable rehabilitation of the Kinawataka wetland by transforming neighbouring communities into the champions of the wetland.

 

Project Components

This component includes setting up adequate governance structures, finalising list of affected households, setting up of settlements forums and other dialogues structures for awareness and consultation.

  1. Outcome:  to ensure that relocated households and businesses are re-integrated into the broader city and within adjacent communities with secure tenure and plans for long term incremental upgrading. 
  2. Basic assumption and approach:  secure tenure, in-situ upgrading, and business relocation plans are agreed between government and community and other stakeholders. 

Outcome:   to ensure that the most vulnerable households are identified and empowered to adapt to the new situation caused by the impact of the KJE construction. Critically vulnerable households in the ROW will need additional support in the process of relocation.  A tailored support programme will be developed for them depending on the household’s circumstances and would be offered the following services:  

  1. Help salvaging materials and transport to the new site; 
  2. Support in the building of an improved structure; and where relevant 
  3. Rental support.

Outcome: to ensure that households - presently dependent on the informal economy for their livelihood and impacted by the ROW - are empowered with new space, skills and resources to either continue their enterprise or adapt to a new opportunity.

Business support services to be provided include business development training and advice, access to microfinance and linkages to supply chain opportunities with corporate and city infrastructure programmes. Traders in need of new skills will be provided with the vocational training necessary to transition into a new market.

Outcome: support the sustainable rehabilitation of the Kinawataka wetland by transforming neighbouring communities into the champions of the wetland. Among issues to be addressed include solid waste and wastewater management and ecosystem services.

Kinawataka wetland management would have the following multiple benefits for the environment and local community:

  1. To improve the quality of life of residents in surrounding areas;
  2. To provide livelihood opportunities for the residents;
  3. To preserve remaining open, green spaces within the city; and
  4. To rehabilitate the wetlands to enhance critical ecosystem services.
It’s about fighting slums and not slum dwellers, fighting poverty instead of fighting the poor.
Daudi Migereko, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Uganda, June 2012

Select Results

 

Capacity Strengthening for Inclusive Urban Development in Uganda.  Launched in 2010, the Uganda Country Programme began with the Transforming the Settlements of the Urban Poor (TSUPU) programme. Working closely with the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD), the programme produced a national urban policy to guide more inclusive development and formed active urban forums that provide the space for participatory urban planning and policy making at the national and municipal levels. The programme fostered strong partnerships and a culture of dialogue that is underpinning urban development efforts and has already had a significant impact. The percentage of city residents living in slums decreased by 10%; average municipal expenditures increased by 168% per person; and the average percentage of low-income households with regular electricity connections increased by 43% between 2013-16.

 

Empowering the urban poor with Community Upgrading Funds. The Community Upgrading Fund (CUF) is one of the most successful components of the Cities Alliance Country Programme model. It provides financing for small infrastructure projects selected by the communities themselves, helping residents see tangible progress quickly while the longer-term objectives of the Country Programme unfold. The CUF model was first implemented in the Cities Alliance Uganda Country Programme, where communities implemented 123 upgrading infrastructure projects in 5 municipalities to the benefit of 523,185 inhabitants of urban poor neighbourhoods, at a cost of US $848,395.

 

Creation of the National Urban Policy Programme.  With Cities Alliance assistance, National Urban Policies (NUP) have been prepared by the Governments of Ghana, Uganda and Vietnam. The Cities Alliance, UN-Habitat and OECD created the National Urban Policy Programme which continues to support the development and implementation of NUPs globally.

 

Local Capacity Development. Cities Alliance supported local capacity for over 4,800 local government staff in Ghana, Uganda and Vietnam.

 

Mobilising and empowering slum dwellers.  Cities Alliance and Slum Dwellers International (SDI) have strengthened slum dweller federations in more than 30 countries in Africa and Asia to partner with local governments, often replacing antagonism with trust. Cities Alliance Country Programmes mobilised over 609 community savings groups across Ghana, Uganda, Liberia and Vietnam.

 

Institutionalising participatory planning in Uganda.  Municipal Development Forums, which were designed to bring all stakeholders into the urban development process, have been made statutory bodies. 

 

Integrating formal, informal and customary land rights - the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM).  Security of tenure is one of the most critical challenges for sustainable urban development. The process of STDM provides an opportunity for the authorities and slum communities to initiate dialogues for inclusive planning, access to basic services and infrastructure, and ultimately to improve land access and records. The STDM model is an innovative land information management system which integrates formal, informal and customary land rights, initially piloted in Mbale, Uganda. Combining the technology brought by UN- Habitat and GLTN with community engagement and participation from decades of experience by SDI proved not only possible, but transformative, and the STDM project formalised relations between communities and the local government. As a result, the communities are now recognised as legitimate development actors and not merely the beneficiaries of upgrading initiatives. The Municipal Council awarded the community several contracts for sanitation units, and the community implemented eight water point projects.

 

 

Through the programme we can articulate that we are slum dwellers, but not just poor. We should be involved in decision-making - if we are not, development will not take place and programmes will not work. The programme is effective regarding involvement, and this is very important.

Representative of slum dwellers in Uganda. COWI, Independent Evaluation of Cities Alliance, 2012.

 

It’s about fighting slums and not slum dwellers, fighting poverty instead of fighting the poor.
Daudi Migereko, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Uganda, June 2012