Effectiveness of KCCA in the Traffic Management and Solid Waste Management Sectors in Kampala: The Informal Sector and the City Economy

Effectiveness of KCCA in the Traffic Management and Solid Waste Management Sectors in Kampala: The Informal Sector and the City Economy

Phillips Odwokacen (Uganda Christian University, Uganda) and Mesharch W. Katusiimeh (Ankole West University, Uganda)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4165-3.ch017
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The authors of this chapter provide an in-depth comparative analysis and discussion of the effectiveness of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in regulating and enforcing laws related to traffic management and solid waste management (SWM) in Kampala. The findings reveal that SWM is better regulated as compared to traffic management despite operating under similar conditions. Unlike the SWM sector, the presence of strong associations, diversity of uncoordinated rival players, massive youth population, and heavy political investments in the informal public transport sector has made it difficult for KCCA to regulate traffic in the city. The informal SWM sector in Kampala has received limited political interest. Thus, one would expect that the city traffic sector should be well regulated compared to the SWM sector. However, this is not the case; KCCA has registered significant more success in the regulation of the informal SWM than the latter. On the contrary, KCCA and the city police continue to have running battles with the operators of informal public transport.
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It is widely acknowledged that most cities in developing countries face challenges of poor service delivery caused by rapid urbanization. This has resulted into major problems relating to public health, environmental pollution and congestion. In most developing cities, especially in Africa, hardly a month passes without the press highlighting complaints from city residents reporting on poor solid waste management and poor traffic management. The situation is made worse with rapid urbanization taking place and consequently slums growing at an alarming rate. Through natural increase (due to high fertility rate, decline in mortality, internal migration and international migration (Nyakaana, Sengendo et al. 2004) the population of Kampala has steadily grown in the last three decades faster than the pace at which urban services and housing are provided. All this has taken place in an environment of rapid informalization (Lindell&Appelblad 2009). The expansion of these activities has drastically changed the face of Kampala.

Scholars of urban governance have argued that urban management is unable to make significant progress because local power struggles often subvert and hinder service delivery in urban cities (Lindell&Appelblad 2009; Goodfellow, 2010; Goodfellow 2015; Kristof, 2014). Constant political interference from the central government (politicians) continues to frustrate the city authority’s effort to effectively plan and regulate the fast growing city’s informal service sector, especially the informal public transport industry. Unlike the solid waste management sector, the informal public transport industry continues to attract significant political attention and interest for political capital purposes (Goodfellow, 2010).

To achieve effective urban management in Kampala, the central government has significantly reformed the administrative and political structure of the city administration and governance (Gore and Muwanga 2012). In 2005, an amendment to the constitution was approved that established the legal authority of the central government to provide for the administration and development of Kampala as the capital city for Uganda. This was actualized on 28 December 2010, when the central government exercised this constitutional authority and formally took over the administration of Kampala. The main justification for the central government’s move to administer the capital was to increase the financial resources in the city, the capacity in the form of technical staff and to make sure that Kampala in the long term perspective was aligned with the national development plans. It was hoped that the reforms would go a long way in fixing the flaws in the decentralization programme that treated Kampala as though it were an ordinary district despite being exclusively urban. In addition the streamlining of the urban elite though the harmonization of central and city-level government interests would, in theory, increase the capacity for policy implementation in the city. On several levels it would therefore be an institutional transformation that could enhance the effectiveness of urban management.

Consequently, the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Jennifer Musisi Semakula was appointed by President and tasked with transforming the capital to become a modern city. The Lord Mayor of Kampala Elias Lukwago also campaigned on the platform of modernizing the city. This paper will tackle service delivery in relation to key services of KCCA – solid waste management and traffic management. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Act 2010, under Functions of the Authority, KCCA is mandated to organize and manage traffic and deal with solid waste management.

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