Masajja, Bwaise floods: dwellers cry foul

Written by: 
Kisakye Elizabeth


Finding the water on the road is one story but the water finding you in your bed is a disaster only slum dwellers in Musajja slum in Makindye division and other areas can narrate.
Lying above the Masajja stream, there is nothing more detested in Masajja than a cloud forming in the sky.

Children sit upon the decker beds as they watch their clothes, utensils and other household items floating away. When it catches them by surprise during the night, they use basins, saucepans to empty the houses so as to get a little sleep – at least until the sun comes out.

“I have lived in this place for one decade now and this is how the situation has been like despite pledges by authorities to improve the situation. It becomes worse when water spills in the house, leaving us stranded the whole night,” says Shadia Nantumbwe.

Other city suburbs that are prone to flooding are Kasubi, Katanga, Kisenyi, Bwaise, Nalukolongo, Kabuusu, Katwe, Namungoona, and Kinawataka among others.

Masajja is partly a wetland and the stream flows Lake Victoria. Who is to blame? Not God of course! The flooding of Kampala according to experts is purely man-made.

 People are continuously settling in places like Masajj and Bwaise 

Speaking to Journalism@mak on Tuesday, Edward Bogere a resident and landlord in the place said he was deceived by ‘nasty’ city brokers to settle in the place.

“I bought rental houses here a year back not knowing the condition of the place.” He says adding that “at this moment no one can even buy them even when I try to selling them off”.

The 34-year old says no one wants to rent his houses because of the poor conditions in the place when it rains.

Relatedly Zaina Namusobya a mother of two says he children always miss school every day it rains.  

"My children cannot go to school when it rains. You see when water comes all over this place. The conditions are very terrible,” she says.

A one Robert Ssenjobe who owns a small retail shop in the area says the floods greatly affect his operations, “I came here some months back but I can’t hold it. I will have to shift immediately.”

It is however not true that Kampalans hate rain –maybe just not all the time. For when the skies are mean and the dust sets in, one does not need to look far to hear the public outcry.

What is missing perhaps is better drainage systems, good waste management, plastic recycling, and a strict adherence to the law to ensure that no one builds in gazetted areas.


Photo by Kisakye Elizabeth