Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaRough Music in Kampala Slums
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content
Rough Music in Kampala Slums Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ssendagire Paul, Uganda Dec 24, 2006
Environment , Health   Opinions


Rough Music in Kampala Slums The Kampala district is composed of a good number of slums. Many people in the district live in slums like Katanga, Bwaise, Kalerwe, Kisenyi, Kivvulu, among others. Many “good and bad” Ugandans leave villages for greener pastures in cities. Yet in cities like Kampala people can find cheaper and affordable accommodation mainly in the slums. As a good neighbor to one of those popular places, I have been forced by their current state to jot down some of the pains such people account as part of their regular experiences.

Congestion is unavoidable in Kampala slums; shanty houses are too many and extremely close to one another. Yet most of these houses are rented out to people. Many people can afford renting only a room. The father, mother and children may occupy a room, which may also serve as the dinning, storeroom, bedroom, among other functions. Due to the large numbers in the room, some families force some of their children to sleep under the parents bed yet in more descent homes, a simple curtain separates the “master bedroom” from the children’s, which also doubles as a dinning room. The sourness or sweetness of the night is enjoyed by all the occupants of the room.

Moreover, congestion in the slums would not become such a menace if the buildings were descent and if such places had better infrastructure. However, to complicate the situation, the buildings and other infrastructures are otherwise. Most of the buildings in Kampala slums like Kivvulu are on get set just waiting for the go whistle yet some important facilities like toilets are scarce. Due to the scarcity of toilets, many people do “ease” themselves in polythene bags which are then thrown in nearby paths and water streams. The drainage system in such places is extremely substandard yet gullies dominate most of the slum roads.

The excessive rains which are currently experienced in most parts of Uganda have aggravated the situation in slums. Houses have been destroyed by floods, people have lost property and diseases like cholera are on rampage. Imagine a situation whereby somebody wakes up only to find his/her bed surrounded by dirty water as brown as “tonto” and most of the household items floating on the dirty and highly contaminated water. Water in the streams and other places is also stagnant, thereby providing ground for the rapid multiplication of mosquitoes, which makes the people more vulnerable to malaria.

More so, many children and adults move about bare footed in such a dirty environment. Children also find stagnant waters as good playgrounds. Half nakedness is so common amongst slum children because of the “itching poverty” yet hygiene and sanitation are also not a priority to many people since a good number of them still use unboiled water and put on dirty clothes among other things. Even in the local restaurants, sanitation is a problem.

Rats, bed bugs and cockroaches are recognizable family members in many homes and dogs patrol the whole slum all night in search for lovers and left overs.

Most people eat hardly enough food because of poverty. Most families enjoy only one meal a day and a balanced diet is still a dream to many. Not only does this affect slum people but also a good number of families in other parts of the country.

The levels of crime are also high in slums. Rapists, defilers and adulterous personalities are enjoying sexual overdoses where thieves and marijuana smokers maximize their “talents” in such places. Parasites also enjoy booming business in Kampala slums. Rumor mongering and fights amongst people, especially women, are very common in these places.

In a nutshell, slum people face a number of problems, some of which have not been revealed by the author. However despite all this pain, many of our leaders are lending to these people’s problems a deaf ear and are too religious to the “for God and my stomach” motto. They acknowledge the importance of these people mainly during elections seasons. Negligence and ignorance coupled with poverty amongst the populace have also greatly played a pronounced role in the acceleration of the problems that complicate slum life.



You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile
Ssendagire Paul

This user has not written anything in his panorama profile yet.

Rough Music In Kampala Slums
Edward Woods | Feb 3rd, 2007
Very good overview of what the real Uganda is like from the viewer point of view.

Rwax Qax | Feb 19th, 2007
thanx for overview u got there

Failing to plan .......planning to fail
jasper bakyayita | Jul 22nd, 2008
Post independence Uganda failed to plan for an overpopulated city to come in later years.Reasons mainly were,the city life,the failing cash crop economy,land fragmentation, low prices of agricultural products forced many village dwellers into the capitals,wars,land and tribal conflicts, and the impacts of climate change. Slums are divided into many categories;those in the valleys,those adjacent to main roads and those like shanty towns for refugees and the dislocated ones in the economy.Slums have given the dwellers a chance to eke a living and supporting millions who cant afford modest living. Under land reform,most slums are on government land or near wetlands .Slums are temporary structures for a limited time,but some have lasted for 50 years like Nakulabye,,Natete, Ndeba.Some slums have disappeared all together like new structures in Ndeba and Ministers' village at Namuwongo. In the slums,people are innovative to tunes of their environment.Most slum lords have initiated paying toilet facilities.Those which are in the wetlands are hard to fathom.Unlike the Largest slum in the world Kabeera Nairobi,slums in Kampala are fragmented because of the topography and drainage on the surrounding . The slum dwellers had racial component.The whites and the Asians lived in the modest well cleaned homes and apartments in down town Kampala before their expulsion in 1971.The Europeans lived in Kololo,Nsambya,Muyenga and other Surburbs.The African owned nothing in the Kampala,just porters and clerks,just stayed on the fringes of the affluent.To be able to work in the city and as slaves to Asian in Kampala,had to start living in the then wetland adjoining Kampala and the Kabakas' palace Lubiri .Katwe is the African capital of the undeserved.As population increased,the demand for homes increased.People started to erect houses on each other without concerns to public health

You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.