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KCCA to extend lights to slums

Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA plans to install lights in slum areas

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA plans to install lights beyond the streets of the city. KCCA has installed 4,988 lights in the City, 1,560 of which are solar. However, the street lights don’t cover slum areas with poor roads.

Harriet Mulondo, the Director Gender and Community Development KCCA, says a feasibility study they were conducting with French Development Agency (AFD) in Kampala city suburbs on how to proceed with the Kampala Street Lighting Master Plan is almost complete.

She disclosed this during the closure of the 16 days of activism against Gender Based violence at UMA show grounds Lugogo Tuesday. According to Mulondo, as soon as the study is completed, they will seek funding from the French government to light-up areas in Kampala that have been identified as dark spots used by criminals to commit crime.

These areas were marked during a weeklong exercise led by division mayors as part of the Safe Cities program that seeks to make Kampala safe for the girl Child and women by protecting them for gender based violence. Mulondo hopes that when these areas are lit, chances of them harboring crimes will be reduced.

Sheila Komugisha Nalongo, the Local Council Councilor Kamwokya 1 identified some of the dark spots in Kampala Central Division as Kifumbira zone in Kamwokya and Kagugube in Wandegeya.

Other areas are Kisenyi 2, areas around Nakivubo Channel, Kajja at the old taxi park and Mini Price among others. Komugisha says KCCA should install lights in all these areas and improve the physical planning too.   

The Nakawa Division Mayor, Ronald Balimwezo identified dark spots in his area as Mu’Kisenyi, Obama’s place, Opio’s Place and one area known as B133 that he says is the base for criminals.

Bob Muhumza who represented the Makindye Mayor named Patel zone in Kabalaga, Kisuggu and Kasanvu zone as some of the dark spots in the division. Crime was also prevalent in public areas like bars, restaurants and cinema halls.

Reports from the divisions indicate that apart from poor lighting, the dark spots have become havens for crime because of drug abuse and alcoholism that is rampant.

Sarah Kanyike, the Deputy KCCA Lord Mayor urged division leader and local councils to draft bi-laws to manage issues in their areas like alcoholism, operation of bars and gender based violence among others that affect their communities.

Apart from the dark places that were identified because of lack of light which provides a conducive environment for criminals, others areas named due to the acts of sexual violence include public spaces like markets, streets and taxi parks.

Mastura Nassaka, a member of Uganda Youth Development Link-UYDEL, says she feels unsafe walking on some streets in Kampala because of men who sexually harass girls and women.

As part of the Safe Cities program, KCCA will sensitise the public against Gender Based Violence. The plan is to hold talks with stakeholders like local council leaders and the general public including men operating in public spaces like parks, markets and on the streets.

KCCA has started by displaying messages against Gender Based Violence on taxis.

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