The Masaka City Council Roads committee has ordered strict enforcement of the physical planning regulations to stop the expansion of slums in the area.
The committee which is chaired by Dr Abed Bwanika, the Kimanya-Kabonera Division Member of Parliament has instructed the City Physical Planning and Law Enforcement departments to ban parcelling and sale of small plots of land, as well as the creation of roads that are not catered for in the city design.
Bwanika expressed concern about the shambolic construction of houses, especially in the areas which were recently annexed to the former Masaka Municipality in the pursuit of fulfilling conditions for attaining a city status. Zones with poorly planned housing facilities include Misaali, and Kyalusoowe in the Nyendo-Mukugwe division, and parts of Kirimya and Gayaza wards in Kimanya-Kobonera division.
According to Bwanika, the way the new areas are urbanizing in terms of infrastructure development poses a big threat to the city’s physical plans and architectural designs, hence the possibility of creating more undesirable slums in the area.
Mathias Mpuuga, the MP representing Nyendo-Mukungwe Division observes that the mess is partly contributed by the unregulated land brokers operating in the area. He has challenged the City Council leadership to do everything within their means to prevent the creation of more unplanned developments in the area.
Masaka Deputy City Clerk Emmanuel Gakyalo acknowledges the concern but indicated that they are already contemplating a short-term solution pending the development and release of a comprehensive city physical plan, which he says will provide a lasting remedy for the problem.
According to him, the City Physical Planning Department is going to issue a public circular guiding the standard measurements of plots and housing styles that are allowed in the city.
Masaka City Mayor Florence Namayanja told media that they also intend to engage lower local council leaders to stop witnessing sale agreements of plots that are below dimensions of 50 by 100 meters.