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Heavy rains torment Kampala slum dwellers

Stephen Maniraguha, a resident of Mulago II Ward in Kamwokya says that the recurrent weather conditions are threatening public health in several homes around slums in Kampala as a result of blocked drainage systems, poor sanitation and hygiene.

While the onset of season-long rains brought relief to drought-hit areas of Uganda, slum dwellers in Kampala are struggling to cope with constant floods and sewage runoffs.

Stephen Maniraguha, a resident of Mulago II Ward in Kamwokya says that the recurrent weather conditions are threatening public health in several homes around slums in Kampala as a result of blocked drainage systems, poor sanitation and hygiene.

Several households told this reportet that every onset of rainy seasons causes families in Kamwokya to suffer the effects of housing poverty.

UN-Habitat defines housing poverty as ‘the individuals and households who lack safe, secure and healthy shelter with basic infrastructures such as piped water and adequate provision for sanitation, drainage and the removal of household wastes’.

Located in Kampala’s Kawempe Division, Kamwokya is a mixed residential and commercial area of the city that harbours a large number of small businesses like markets, restaurants, shops, and sports bars – many of them, upscale.

Floods and other dilemmas caused by heavy rains are a direct problem compounded by unguided rapid urbanization and limited capacity of urban local authorities to address this issue.

Most of the informal settlements in Kampala lack storm-water drainage channels that are designed and built to engineering standards which are a major cause of flooding.

Hilda Nakibuuka, a teacher at Kamwokya Primary School told this reporter that each time it rains; five families from the teachers’ quarters face hostile displacement as their rooms flood to capacity.

According to Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), the month of April marks the peak of the March to May “Long Rains” seasonal rainfall while March is normally associated with the onset of rainfall over most parts of the country.

The authority projects that rainfall outlook for April 2018 indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience enhanced rainfall especially in western and mountainous areas of Elgon.

Overall, the April forecast indicates that most parts of the country are expected to have enhanced rainfall. However, the mountain areas of Rwenzori and Elgon plus the highlands of South Western Uganda are expected to receive above the average rainfall which might impact negatively to the communities in those areas.

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