CESCRA as part of efforts to inform the Safer City Campaign conducted a baseline survey on the general social economic as well as political environment in Kampala City. The baseline targeted at obtaining the view of the business community both in the formal and informal sector, the leadership of KCCA, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Land, Housing and urban Development, the Parliamentary committee on Security and the Uganda Police Force.
CESCRA partnered with International Alert to find out what makes a City Safer and what are the factors that affect peace and security. The findings from the baseline survey vividly pointed out the link between urban safety and lack of realisation of economic and social rights. For example the issue of youth unemployment, equitable land access and access to urban spaces for business came out as one of the problems challenging urban safety.
The Baseline Survey Highlights
- Level of under and unemployment: the youth are the biggest victims of under and unemployment and there are many redundant youth, easy to mobilise for negative activities and a temptation to join criminal and drug groups.
- Access to education
- Security levels for different areas
- Land conflicts: contested market lands and public land informally occupied by informal traders and later leased to “Developers”
- Landlords, unregulated rent payments and increase: traders decry arbitrary rent increase and its impact on the cost of doing business.
- Heavy taxation
- Urban spaces: informal transporters such as boda bodas and street venders are threatened with evictions from the city without alternatives.
- Urban land grabbing and evictions by well-connected “investors”:people feel that some politicians connive with investors to grab prime lands in the city.
- Leadership Conflicts: market leadership is divided and in fighting preventing effective negotiation between vendors and government.
- Street vendors: Shop owners feel frustrated by competition and disorder in business by street venders who sale similar products and front of shops. Venders feel harassed by KCCA over public spaces they occupy illegally, yet they too are struggling to fit into the informal economy given their limited capital and vulnerable situation. The street vendors constitute a big population of the urban poor whose family economic survival and education depend on the small income they make on streets.
- Small-scale manufactures “the Jua Kali”: are threatened with evictions; majority lack recognised spaces to operate, yet they too contribute to the economy and employ many young people. They are not recognised in the business structure and do not pay tax.
- Political demonstrations
- Political interference