Floods in Kampala, Uganda

Floods struck in many parts of the suburbs of Kampala, Uganda on Tuesday 3rd September 2013. One of the worst affected areas in Nateete known as Nanfuka zone. Other areas affected include Bwaise, Kalerwe, Kireka, Katwe and Ndeeba. Houses and streets have been flooded, and roads blocked to traffic bringing business in the area to a standstill. Some residents have left their homes or businesses to return when the floods have receded.

Kampala Floods
Flooded streets of Kampala in 2011
Photo by Edgar R. Batte, Daily Monitor

The locals of these suburbs believe these floods, which occur on a regular basis, are very much man made and mostly caused by building and development on flood plains and swamp areas. Flooding like this occurs on a regular basis in Kampala – mostly in the suburbs – during the rainy season. Two people died in floods in September 2011. Further floods occurred in November that year, as discussed in this report from Uganda’s New Vision.

According to a recent report, builders and developers are trying to reclaim flood plains and swamp areas – the parts of the suburbs where flood water would normally go – for future building. Adding to the problem is the fact that rubbish is dumped in drainage channels and along river banks, leaving flood water no other place to go than in the streets of the suburbs.

Kampala floods
Kampala drainage canal blocked by rubbish
Photo from 2011 by Edgar R. Batte, Daily Monitor

Mr Paul Kasozi, the chairman Nanfuka zone told reporters, “The government and NEMA should put in place strict laws against those who pour soil in the swamps and those who dump rubbish in the drainage channels.”

Last year, KCCA Executive Director Jenifer Musisi called for more to be done to alleciate the problem of floods. According to this report, she said:

“The Nakivubo wetland corridor that performs the major role of draining storm water from various parts of Kampala to Lake Victoria has been degraded; this is evident by the increased flooding whenever there is a heavy downpour.”

Floods in Kampala put many of the city’s poorest residents at risk of water-borne diseases such as Cholera.

Video report: