Kampala is one big slum. The population in Kampala is over 1.5 million and is expanding by more than 4% every year. Being a capital city, people are leaving rural areas and coming to look for work and live in the city. The increased population has led to the development of vulnerable communities where 49% to 64% of the total urban populations live in these areas in dwelling rental units called Mizigo (tenements) which is the typical housing structure for the slum / ghetto areas.
According to the 2014 National Population and Housing Census, Kampala’s daytime population stands at 4 million while its resident population stands at 1.5 million people. By 2050, the population of Kampala is projected to hit 12 million, according to a recent World Bank report. Such predictions, according to experts, paint a pale picture of the future of the city unless government embarks on strategic planning.
Ghetto slums are defined by the following outstanding characteristics like:
- Inadequate access to safe water,
- Inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure,
- Insecure residential status,
- Poor structural quality of housing,
- High rates/levels of noise, crime, drug abuse, immorality (pornography and prostitution) and alcoholism
- High HIV/AIDS prevalence and
The major slums in Kampala include Bwaise, Katwe, kisenyi and Katanga among others. These areas attract a high density of low- income earners and or unemployed persons, with low levels of literacy. It is also an area where houses are in environmentally fragile lands e.g. wetlands considerations. Some people even lack where to stay and their only hope is along roads.
People who live in these areas are simple and offer carefree interaction. Many of the children are forced into work, some just selling sweets on the street, from a young age. Receiving an education is not on the radar for many of them. It can amount to just USD 30 to send one child to school for a term which price is the same price for a meal and drink in developed countries. People think differently about those who reside in ghettos and slums thinking that everyone has an ill habit like being a thief, Sex worker or doing drugs.
However, the story changes when you go to the ground and find simple happy people excited to interact with you. A visit / guided walks through these vulnerable communities located a few minutes from the city center exposes you to reality tours and you will learn about the life style and hear stories and experiences of people living under the poverty line and also learn how to support such a community initiative, family or child in particular.
These places are gifted with people of different behaviors and characters who can become mentors of the most young generations for example Uganda Singers Musuuza aka Eddy kenzo, and the prominent singer and member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi wine. Therefore people should not be timorous about the ghetto living, but should make it a joyful place, because it risen and nurtured successful people too, which makes it more precious than the older days where it was diminished, and seen totally down. The Pearl of Africa has ripened so much from the low timorous Ghetto in form of talents like footballer, and so many others.
Hullo Safaris gives a Portion of the profits to community initiatives dedicated to providing girl child education, healthcare, and other community-based support in vulnerable communities in Kampala City.
Local NGOs are working to improve the living conditions from Sanitation to employment though there’s still a huge gap for bettering and improving these people’s lives.