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.
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.