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Population, Urban Development and the Environment in Uganda : The Case of Kampala City and its Environs


The city of Kampala was selected for this research because of its strategic and functional roles being a commercial, industrial, administrative, social, economic and cultural hub of Uganda. The study combined several research methods but largely depended on secondary data from various reports, and policy documents dotted around in different agencies, which have tried to address the environment and development issues of the city.

The study largely employed secondary data sources for synthesizing the interactions between population, development and environment. Additional methods were utilized to analyze these relationships. The results presented are syntheses of data from secondary sources, statistical analyses and spatial analysis of the study variables. The project collected secondary data from government documents, academic research reports, and consultancy and newspaper reports. This included population data, planning frameworks industrialization activities, urban developments and environmental impacts. Secondary data was supplemented with primary data collected through interviews and discussion groups with informed stakeholders. Statistical and qualitative analytical tools were used in analyzing these data.

GIS was applied in spatial analysis of urban growth to get a characterization of how the city has been growing taking a period between 1980 and 2004. Remote sensing and satellite imagery formed the input for the urban growth analysis. Two satellite imagery of LandSat, one for 1980 (resolution of 20 m) and the second for 2001 (resolution of 20 m). Since the resolution is low for urban land use mapping, a classification of land use/cover was used. Additional knowledge of the area characteristics was captured through field reconnaissance surveys. Statistical data was also derived from the digitized maps of wetlands and classified land use maps of the imagery.

Results of the study were enhanced with data collected through FGD workshops with stakeholders who provided vital inputs. Two neighbourhoods that generally have the characteristics described in the conceptual model were selected for the FGD’s. Through these meetings, data on environmental burdens, coping strategies, poverty was collected and utilized to validate information collected from other sources.