MITYANA – District leaders in Mityana have benefited from a training that has been conducted by the Ministry of Lands to better equip them with the aspect of Physical Planning in the district.
The training that happened at Enro Hotel in Mityana town had attendance from the district leadership and the councilors representing the different cells in Mityana.
These were basically trained in putting to order and the organization of space on land for development in order to ensure coordinated, sustainable and orderly utilization of land.
Mr Jude Ssenteza, the Senior Physical Planner at the Ministry of Lands who led the training shared that the training is driven by the need to equip these leaders with the knowledge of harmonizing the limited/scarce nature of land with the conflicting, competing and ever increasing use of land for human sustenance.
He explains that through physical planning, adequate provision of infrastructure, utilities and services like roads, electricity and housing to create a conducive, harmonious and livable environment for all
“Physical Planning in Uganda since the colonial times had been guided by the Town and Country Planning Act (T&CPA) first enacted as a Town and Country Planning Ordinance in 1951 and revised in 1964 as Town and Country Planning Act CAP 246. The major objective of the (T&CPA) was to promote orderly and progressive growth of towns and rural areas,” he says.
Ssenteza adds that the Act was intended to work under a centralized system of governance where Physical Planning was to be carried out at the national level by the Town and Country planning Board (T&CPB) while the implementation and supervision to be done by the Local governments.
He shared that the 1995 Constitution introduced a decentralized government system which rendered the T&CPA quite ineffective.
“There was therefore a need to amend and harmonize the T&CPA to conform to the constitution, Local Governments Act (LGA), Land Act (Decentralized land management thru DLBS, DLOs, ALCs etc) among other related legislation,” he said.
Edward Muganga, the speaker Mityana District thanked the Ministry for taking the Physical Training workshop to their district since the Municipality is one of those that have not been having a physical plan.
“The people from the ministry have taught people laws and the fact that having a physical plan is not hard. We have also learnt that getting the plans to build is also good and can be obtained at a relatively low price.”
He requested the ministry to help them secure a physical plan for the municipality through their (Ministry’s) different partners. Mityana was given a municipal status and it became so urban.
Muganga hopes that with the plan in place, Mityana will be on the standards of embracing city status.
Gladys Nassaka, the councillor representing the elderly at the District shared that through the workshop, she has learnt the importance of the municipal physical plan.
She explained that the plan is important for towns to gain standards in different sectors like cleanliness, infrastructures and health.
Florence Nassolo, another councillor representing Kabule and Tanda Ward in Mityana shared that for long, a number of people in Mityana villages built without plans.
“If there is a municipal physical plan, people can make use of this one and buy these plans. If they buy them, government revenue increases which in turn enhances service delivery. The Government should continue conducting such workshops on land and urbanisation.”
Officiating at the event, Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba shared how Physical planning is a big challenge in Mityana to an extent that they missed out on some programs due to the lack of an approved physical plan.
She shared that now is the time to fastrack Mityana’s physical plans at least for the district and municipality to have them approved and also be put in place.
“We are going to look at the recommendations made here so that we see how we can work with the concerned people to plan for our area such that it matches up with the standards of a planned area,” she said.
According to Nabakooba, the Physical Planning Law of 2020 says every area is a planning area be it a town or a village because no one knows tomorrow.
She shared that the Parliament passed this law to guide people such that if they are doing things, they do them on plan.
“Water pipes, electricity and internet wires, have to be integrated in our plans, to avoid re-digging the area that might be already developed. We need to see that people building have plans because if one builds without a plan, they can easily build in a road reserve and end up hampering development.”