Public Parks In Kampala Under Threat By Developers - Survey

2410 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
According to a survey conducted by the Non-Communicable Diseases Information and Control Centre NICC titled, Availability and Quality of Parks in Kampala, some of the 24 parks and open spaces audited in the five divisions, may not exist in the near future due to rapid urban development.

Public parks and open spaces in Kampala continue to face threats of encroachment by private developers, a survey has revealed.

According to a survey conducted by the Non-Communicable Diseases Information and Control Centre (NICC) titled, "Availability and Quality of Parks in Kampala", some of the 24 parks and open spaces audited in the five divisions, may not exist in the near future due to rapid urban development.
 
Ten parks are public; nine are private, four government school parks and one private school park. Some of the public parks including Centenary Park gardens; Equatorial Gardens opposite Watoto Church on Bombo road; Katwe Queen's Way park; Kamwokya Ground; Pan African Park; Kanyanya Express Field and Makerere Children's park.

Two public parks, Kololo Airstrip and Constitutional Square were not included in the survey due to security cordon which limits public access, especially to the low income earners and those living in slums.

David Ouma Balikoowa, the principal researcher, explains that even with the public parks in place, they are not adequate in comparison with the growing population in Kampala, which currently stands at three million people.

Some of the public parks named as those under threat of encroachment are Centenary Park and Katwe Park.

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In Kampala yesterday, the Centre also released another survey report on mapping informal places for active recreation in 10 Kampala slums including Kisenyi 1, Kansanga, Wabigalo, Naguru and Butabika, also identified 34 informal open spaces not officially gazetted by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), to create recreational areas for children in slums.

The findings also point to the need for legislation to protect the public spaces from encroachment.

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The study was conducted between 2014 and 2015, with the aim of assessing recreational areas where children, women and adults can engage in physical activities to improve their health, social interactions and community programmes.
 
However, Bernadette Sanyu, manager of landscaping at KCCA tasked the Centre to outline the health benefits in creating the parks for recreational activities.
 
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About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.