Record Breaking Rains: Not only in Europe
Picture taken by Stephen Kisuze of Old Ggaba Road (the by-pass from Kabalagala, via the backside of the United States Embassy to Nsambya Hospital)

Record Breaking Rains: Not only in Europe


As the media covers the record breaking rains and floods in many parts of Europe, Stephen begs for Kampala City Council to do a better job in managing the rain in Kampala.

By Stephen Kisuze
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First published: August 25, 2005


While it is summer in most of the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern part of the globe, Uganda which is astride the equator is experiencing tropical rains that have recently gone ballistic. Cats and dogs is an understatement as far as Kampala rains are concerned. El Nino is a better word. Unfortunately, the accuracy of government weather fore-casters in Entebbe remains a far cry as they have continued to disappoint. They have never predicted any life-taking flood or storm in Kampala.


On another unfortunate note, politicians stand to be worried that the rains are going to rid Kampala of potential voters, as most victims are boda-boda cyclists. Kampala City Council opponents are laughing at these rains that have no challenge when it comes to undoing shoddy pothole repairs. Rural folks look on in awe. Despite their relentless pleas to the rainmakers, the rains continue to elude them and confine itself to the agriculturally non-productive Kampala. For the Kampala residents, itís all about adaptability.

The city remains a four wheel drive experience for the more affluent and highly paid government officials as they have perched their multi-bedroomed expensive bungalows on top of steep hills like Naguru, Kololo, Muyenga, Buziga to mention a few. Water from their roof tops and paved yards is directed to the roads and savagely gushes down the steep hills ending up in the lowlands, taking with it anything it comes across. One reveler friend of mine was wondering why the Energy ministry continues to ignore this potential source of hydro electric power!

The runoff naturally ends up in the wetlands that have since become homes to the informal sector- as politicians and economists like to refer to it. Kyebando, Bwaise, Katwe and Kaleerwe where an un-established number of infant lives are claimed during any tropical rain session are some of the places. Despite being 1,180 meters above sea level, Kampalaís biggest population lives in flood prone areas largely because that is where they can afford to live. In spite of Governmentís labeling these areas as preserved, there is poor enforcement and as a result we have come to see them exhibit double standards on many occasions. One incidence that got a month of headline coverage was the demolition of a Kampala City Councilorís mansion. Within meters from the demolished one were already habited and bigger mansions.

It should not come as a surprise that rain caused floods account for a great portion of many unreported deaths. Our authorities should consider that despite facts about evolution, we are not about to mutate into marine beings. Therefore let them wake up and tackle this flood problem right way before Kampala is declared a disaster area.

By Stephen Kisuze
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First published: August 25, 2005
Stephen Kisuze is a visitor of UGPulse.com based in Kampala, Uganda.