Developing a place-centred approach to sustainable development solutions for Namatala Slum, Mbale Municipality, Uganda

  • Mary Manana

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Namatala, the largest slum in Mbale Municipality in Eastern Uganda, is in the industrial division of the Municipality. The period between 2003 and 2013 show that there has been both urban infill and urban sprawl in Namatala. The strongest patterns appear to be urban infill of informal housing in Mvule cell with the peripheral areas having more permanent form of housing. Namatala exhibits the challenges typical of most African slums.P lace-specific understanding of the linkages between the social, economic, environmental, and cultural dimensions of Namatala was required to understand the challenges, along with an analysis of the effectiveness of policies and practices for sustainable development and the degree to which community capacity building is functioning. The main aim of this study was to develop a place-centred approach for considering sustainable development solutions for Namatala slum. Data for the analysis of place-specific problems, challenges and solutions was collected through observation of the area, household survey questionnaires, key stakeholder interviews, focus group discussions, and analysis of international to local policies and plans, and capacity analysis of the third sector organisations operating there. Namatala is a significantly disadvantaged location, it is wrought with poverty, inadequate social amenities, poor housing, lack of solid waste management, lack of essential infrastructure, and inadequate access to clean water, safe sanitation facilities and security of tenure. The problem of slums in Namatala and Uganda can largely be attributed to a lack of place-specific policy implementation of the national policies and guidelines as well as to lack of intervention by the government, inappropriate regulation, dysfunctional land markets, unresponsive financial systems, and a fundamental lack of political will. It is also a lack of enforcement of appropriate enabling frameworks, weak political will, and the absence of the means for public engagement.The community and capacity audit evaluated the role of organisations and assets that exist in the community for addressing the slum-related issues in Namatala. It revealed significant collective capacities between the third sector groups and within community but hampered by a lack of coordination and collective action. There are opportunities that could be developed to establish a more sustainable future for the community involving the role of the public, private and third sectors and the local community in addressing issues facing Namatala slum. There is need for tri-sector partnership and a place-based intervention that would tap into the already existing policy instruments, capitals and actors and bring them to play with the intended recipients for sustainable place making in Namatala. The potential is there for a more hopeful community, willing to solve their problems through their people's resilience, cultural richness, and willingness to do something regarding their circumstances.
    Date of Award2022
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorTony Harris (Supervisor), Suzanne Jenkins (Supervisor) & Kukunda Bacwayo (Supervisor)

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