Preparations Underway for Major Enumeration of Slum Settlements in Kampala

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[17 February 2011] -- Uganda’s urban population is estimated at 5 million (2009), of whom 60 per cent live in slums. Uganda is targeting to uplift the lives of at least one million people by the year 2020 through implementing the developed slum upgrading strategy and action plan.
This localisation of the MDG 7 target 11 is in direct recognition that slums are a development challenge that must be addressed in order to create harmony in our societies. As such, coordinated policies and actions related to slum-upgrading, environmental management, infrastructure development, service delivery and poverty reduction at large are needed.
Kampala is the largest city in Uganda and the country’s capital. It is a rapidly growing city whose population increases by 5 per cent annually. Kampala has an estimated nighttime population of around 1.5 million people, which doubles during the day as people travel into the city for work. Infrastructure and service provision within the capital are severely deficient, and the city lacks the capacity to adequately serve its growing population.  The government has no clear information about how many slums exist in Kampala, which shows the lack of basic information that can be used for development planning. Consequently, Kampala’s informal settlements have been left out of the city plans.
After eight years of working together towards poverty alleviation and improving access to basic services, the slum dwellers of Kampala have realised the need to undertake research to better understand their community problems and to ensure that they can use the information to lobby and advocate for their rights.
The study will be undertaken in five divisions that make up Kampala City: Nakawa, Makindye, Rubaga, Kawempe and Kampala Central. The process is expected to involve various aspects, including a count of structures, households, health facilities, drainage, estimated population by sex, the ratio of adults to children, as well as community development programmes and interventions.
The process
The journey to what has been considered by the communities to be a successful settlement profile has not overlooked the involvement of the City Council of Kampala and the national government through Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban development; consensus meetings were held to agree on the activity and the roles of the different stakeholders.
The local council leaders are consulted through meetings that are held in Kampala’s five divisions. The National Federation of Slum Dwellers of Uganda has organised meetings to select the enumeration teams and the facilitators that are leading the process of data gathering.  
The goal
The federation will conduct enumerations in five cities, representing the largest and most comprehensive enumeration of the urban poor in Uganda’s history. The task is now for the federation to mobilise the communities and begin to identify members who will be trained to conduct the surveys.

This item was written by the Ugandan NGO ACTogether and first published on the Shack/Slum Dweller International (SDI) website 17 February as “Large Scale Enumerations in Uganda”.