Kampala, the capital of Uganda, has a population of about 1.8 million people by night, swelling to about 2.5 million by day as commuters come into the city from neighboring settlements. The city is situated 40 km north of Uganda’s international airport at Entebbe on Lake Victoria. Kampala City occupies more than twenty-five hills that include Makerere Hill on which the country’s biggest and oldest university is located. The hills have steep slopes separated by wide valleys.
The city derives its name from the land of “Impala” (antelope) that roamed the area before it was taken over for human settlement. It is the hub of Ugandan business. It forms the vital part of Uganda’s economy and serves as the headquarters for many industries .It has every thing from a vibrant night life; cinema and theatres, nightclubs, casinos, modern shopping centres, restaurants and lively pubs, recreation centres, sports facilities and schools to places of worship- churches and mosques.
The city’s past legacy and scenery speaks loud. Initially the capital of Buganda Kingdom, it was declared Uganda’s capital at independence in 1962. It sits on 7 hills with a beautiful view of the landscape. It is administration is divided into 5 borough councils- each headed by a division chairperson, that oversee local planning: The Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division and Lubaga Division.
These divisions are centrally governed by the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) under the leadership of the KCCA Executive Director and the guidance of the lord Mayor of Kampala.
The city’s skyline is ever changing with new modern architecture blending with the old to give it that organic feel. It has transformed into a modern city with a selection of excellent accommodation that cuts across different budget lines from the ordinary Bed and Breakfast (B & B) to the top notch five star hotels, and other facilities.
More than 60 percent of the resident population lives in slums and poor quality housing. Slums such as Bwaise, Katwe, Kisenyi, Kibuli, Katanga, Nakulabye, Naguru II, Nsambya and many others have houses that lack basic necessities such as clean water, proper sanitation and planned structures. The vast majority are tenants, and many are highly transient. Most of the city has 24/7 water supplies, and network coverage is over 70 percent, but access for poor families is far lower. Most rely on communal standpipes and water vendors, who deliver water in jerry cans from taps or public springs, or they buy water from the small minority with private connections.
The unprecedented population increase in Kampala City is responsible for increased demand for employment, land for housing, social services and infrastructure that have stimulated spatial urban development and industrialization. Though the current population increase can be seen as positive development since it could potentially cause an increase in employment opportunities, housing stock, social services and infrastructure expansion, such development is however occurring in a haphazard manner largely dominated by the urban informality in most of the sectors.