Threats of Eviction

The PECTIS team has been taken somewhat by surprise by the recent announcement that all structures within the “railway reserve” of Namuwongo and other communities around Kampala will be destroyed on 28th July 2014. This has understandably led to public outcry.

Daily Monitor Article of 22 July (For PDF of article, PDF)

It seems that the exact dimensions of the reserve are not quite clear, nor has there been any announcement about the compensation. We hope that the local leadership will be able to find an agreement with Rift Valley Railways and KCCA.

It seems that a detailed plan for the use of the land is also missing.

This insecurity must be difficult to cope with for local residents and business owners. The PECTIS project activities relating to the building of sanitation and solid waste infrastructure are also put in a precarious situation.


According to this article (New Vision, 27 July), notice was given on 04 July that all must vacate within 28 days (i.e. by 01 August). The Uganda Railways official is also quoted as saying that they need 30 meters on either side of the railway. The few railway reserve markers still in existence are placed 15 meters from either side of the tracks.


6 thoughts on “Threats of Eviction

  1. this definitely complicates the pectis project however how can the people that have settled along the railway line for 8 years be displaced without relocation.

    • That’s a good point. There is also the issue of properly informing the tenants, many of whom were not aware of the plans to demolish.

      And when we look at the situation from the perspective of providing affordable housing in the city, many of the structures within the 30-meter reserve are decent brick-and-mortar tenements at reasonable prices. It is estimated that Kampala already has a deficit of 100,000 dwelling units… by demolishing 2 or 3,000, are we not regressing?

    • well at the same time. It is a lesson to careless Ugandans that have defied the law,; contructing on land that isn’t theirs. People should learn that every action has consequences.

      • As far as we know, no changes have been made to the structures in Kanyogoga since the demolition announcement in early August.

        Generally, I would agree with you that squatters should not take land that belongs to someone else. But in this case the land in the railway reserve belongs to the Government of Uganda (i.e. the public) and has not been utilized for railway (or any other) purposes for nearly 20 years. In the meantime, water and electricity have been brought by utility companies and many of the “squatters” had paid agreements with the railway-appointed caretakers, thereby giving the settlers the presumption of legality.

        Another thing to bear in mind is the number of structures which have been built on gazetted wetlands. Many high-value residences and businesses have encroached on the Bugolobi side of Nakivubo swamp. Is this a double standard: impunity for the wealthy and scare tactics for the poor?

        On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 7:56 PM, Promoting Eco-friendly Constructi

  2. Pingback: Passenger rail corridor through Kampala | SUDA

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