Ian Senkatuka: The potential of neighbourhood road management by the people in Kampala


Faced with rapid urbanisation, many developing country cities are failing to deliver infrastructure services effectively. This paper looks at neighbourhood roads found in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. Faced with many constraints, the infrastructure provider – Kampala City Council, is failing to manage the neighbourhood roads in Kampala City. Many of them are therefore in a poor state of disrepair, affecting the neighbourhoods and the subsequent comfort and convenience of users. The Central Government of Uganda is concerned with the poor management of Kampala city in general and would like to take over the management of the City. A modified or different approach to the management of the neighbourhood road infrastructure may be needed.

As part of a PHD study using the Case Study methodology, an attempt has been made to link the neighbourhood community to the management of its road infrastructure thereby improving its condition and the subsequent sustainability of the neighbourhood. This will lead to improved conditions and the improved health, safety, comfort and convenience for those who use it, and live and work in the area. A number of authors argue that community participation can lead to the improvement of infrastructure e.g. housing, water, roads, etc. Choguill1 argues that lessons learnt from housing improvement research, done by many scholars, could also apply to infrastructure improvement in developing countries. Community participation may be able to lead to the improved management of neighbourhood roads.

To do this, one needs to study the current management approach, the way the neighbourhood roads are actually ‘used,’ and to try to identify the stakeholders or potential ‘agents of change,’ who may be able to help in the management of the
neighbourhood roads, and play a vital role in the potential ‘processes of change.’

The results reveal that neighbourhood roads in Kampala city are used for many more purposes, other than as a transit route. Some stakeholders identified from the community, may be able to participate in the management of the neighbourhood road, complementing KCC. It identifies challenges and opportunities that must be taken into consideration. It is hoped that the results will contribute knowledge that will lead to the effective management of neighbourhood roads.

Keywords: Urban Infrastructure, Management, Neighbourhood Road, Community.


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