- Although a few years back Kasenge was sparsely populated, the affordable housing has led to many people moving into the area.
- John Kiyimba, a land broker, says getting a 50x100ft plot of land is currently next to impossible because land has been fragmented into small plots, which explains why most of the houses built in the area are small. Today, a 50x100ft plot of land costs between Shs25m to Shs30m.
Kasenge is located in Kyengera parish, off Nateete Road in Wakiso District. It is surrounded by Nakilama, Kazinga, Kikajjo, Nakilagala Buddo and Nakawuka villages. It can be accessed through Nateete along the Kampala-Masaka highway. Turn off to the left at the Nateete traffic lights if you are coming from Kampala. You can still opt for the road off Kyengera route before the main trading centre, Budo or off Kajjansi along the Entebbe Expressway via Nakigalala Tea Estate.
Depending on the route used, the transport fare from Kampala to Kasenge is Shs2,000. Despite the dusty roads, there are a number of economic activities in the heart of Kasenge. They range from selling food stuffs to brick laying.
Origin of the name
Marry Nabazza, 80, a resident since 1965 says: “I am not sure of the name, but one thing I know and have witnessed is that before the coronation ceremony of any king in Buganda, they are brought to this area for a traditional ceremony spearhead by the clansmen before the king heads to the coronation site,’’ Nabazza recalls.
Despite its population and historical background, Kasenge has only one government primary school, St. Bruno, which was built in 1966 and one government hospital.
If not well directed, one can easily mistake the hospital for a two-roomed home because of its structure and condition. Nabazza says what is referred to as a government hospital was built during the Obote I regime and nothing has since been added to it. All the access roads are marrum, with no sign of being tarmacked soon.
“Unlike today, back in the day, Kasenge did not have any retail shops. Residents had to go to the neighbouring Kikajjo village to buy food and other necessities,” Nabazza recalls.
Vienne Kalama, a resident, says away from the small retail shops and stalls selling food stuff by the roadside, the biggest population in Kasenge engages in brick laying as a source of income. “Kasenge Trading Centre is busiest at 6pm with people selling different foods at a cost of between Shs500 and Shs2,000. By 10pm, most residents retire to their homes.
Bruce Kamusiime, the Officer-in-Charge of the police booth at Kasenge, says despite the increasing population, there are hardly any serious crimes in Kasenge. The fact that many residents work within the area has also helped police keep watch.
“We came up with a neighbourhood watch system where residents are put in a group of 10 people (mayumba kumi) to monitor each other and report any suspicious persons to the police,’’ he says.
“Before offering them accomodation, landlords must register all new residents with local leaders and the police,” he adds.
Cost of land and rent
Initially, Nabazza says land at Kasenge was owned by two people; the late Nakemeya and Kasozi. Years after their deaths, land was partitioned and sold off to different buyers. In the early 1990s, one would get an acre of land at Shs1m.
“Land was cheap because they were few people in the area since it was more of a village,’’ she says.
Nabazza adds that by 2006, land had gained value. Those that owned big chunks of land raised the costs to Shs5m for a 50 x 100ft plot while a 100 x 100ft plot was between Shs8m and 10m.
“Many landlords prefer constructing single rooms that are affordable to residents. Single rooms will cost between Shs40, 000 and 50,000,’’ Kiyimba explains.
Renting a double roomed house will cost Shs100,000 while self-contained house will cost Shs150,000. However, not many landlords build self-contained houses. Most of them have outdoor bathrooms and washrooms.
John Kiyimba, a land broker, says getting a 50x100ft plot of land is currently next to impossible because land has been fragmented into small plots, which explains why most of the houses built in the area are small. Today, a 50x100ft plot of land costs between Shs25m to Shs30m.