Kampala, Uganda |URN | Assenting to the Kampala Urban Greening Infrastructure Ordinance (UGIO) has raised hope of greening the city to its old friendly glory once again.
This new hope comes after the disappearance of Kampala’s natural trees and green spaces caught the eye of residents in various areas.
The residents have witnessed constant destruction of green spaces and natural trees inside the Golf course and Centenary Park. The affected roads are John Babiiha, Northern bypass and Nakawa to Ntinda in Kampala.
Several playgrounds in Naguru, Kyebando, Lukuli, Kololo, Katwe, Mulago, Kamwokya, Ntinda and Kyambogo have been turned into construction sites.
Alex Mugisha, a private practicing urban planner and resident of Kyebando – Kisolosalo in Kampala blames the KCCA for failure to enforce the already existing environmental and urban infrastructure laws.
He is actually pessimistic that KCCA may fail to implement the provisions of the Urban Greening Infrastructure Ordinance (UGIO) in Kampala because of corruption and political power from people who want particular places for development.
A spot check by Uganda Radio Network shows that the green spaces are not protected. An example is Mulago, Kibuli and Katwe football fields that were recently turned into construction sites. The football fields categorised as green spaces according to the Urban Greening Infrastructure Ordinance (UGIO) previously had grass and trees grown around them.
According to the Urban Greening Infrastructure Ordinance (UGIO), a green space is one area covered with grass, trees, green roofs, parks, gardens, urban forests and shrubs. The Urban Greening Infrastructure Ordinance (UGIO) stipulates that all public spaces will have a tree for every 120 square metres, private plots should have 40% of green spaces and a tree for every 80 square metres while commercial and industrial areas must have a minimum of 10 % to 35% of green space which may be difficult to implement and enforce in Kampala.
Daniel Muhumuza NuweAbine, KCCA spokesperson says the Urban Greening Infrastructure Ordinance (UGIO) was launched to prevent the misuse of KCCA’s green infrastructure in 2019. He says that even with the many challenges ahead associated with greening slums, ongoing infrastructural developments and other divergent views on greening Kampala, the City Authority will enforce and implement the laws in place.
The UGIO in place will make enforcement and implementation of greening Kampala easier.
According to the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) report of 2019, more than 60% of natural trees in Kampala have been cleared in 10 years due to infrastructure developments.
Stuart Maniraguha, Director Plantations Development at the National Forestry Authority (NFA) believes that with the enactment of greening ordinances in Kampala, the city is going to be more habitable and beautified. He says that NFA will play the advisory role on tree species to be planted for greening Kampala.
This year’s International Day of Forests will be celebrated today, March 21, 2021 under theme: Forest Restoration a path to recovery of well–being.