Having been a hotbed for crime, wild animals and poor infrastructure in the 1970s and 80s, Kulambiro-Kondogoro has grown into a thriving residential area.
Patrick Kasibante, the area’s local council chairperson, who has lived in Kulambiro-Kondogoro for more than 30 years, says has developed and greatly changed from what it used to be.
“Back in the days, Kulambiro was a bushy area. This made it easy for crime to be rampant in the area. Wild animals in the area were also another problem making it hard for human settlement,” says Kasibante.
The place is now home to about 200,000 people according to the 2017 Uganda National Bureau of Statistics abstract report.
The development of the area has come as a result of a number of factors among them being the fact that Kulambiro-Kondogoro is one of those places, which are about 20 minutes’ drive away from the city centre.
Unlike Kulambiro in Mulago that is located South West of Kampala city centre, the larger Kulambiro is located in Nakawa Division and is bordered by Komamboga to the north, Najjeera to the northeast and east, Kiwaatule to the southeast, Kigoowa to the south, and by Kisaasi and Kanyanya to the west. This location is about 11 kilometers (6.8 miles), by road, northeast of Kampala’s central business district.
Additionally, the area is also traversed by the Kampala Northern Bypass Highway. The highway passes between Kulambiro to the north and Kigoowa to the south, as it courses its way from Kiwaatule to the east, towards Kisaasi and Bukoto to the west of Kulambiro.
Quite a number of reasons are pointed out by the area’s local council chairman [Patrick Kasibante] in trying to explain why the area is thriving today. “Kulambiro-Kondogoro being on the outskirts of Kampala is reason enough to explain why today it is a thriving area. As the city has expanded, more people have found themselves buying places in areas situated on the outskirts of the city,” says Kasibante.
However, despite the area experiencing rapid growth, it lacks organised growth as most of the residential houses are built in a disorganised way.
Asked why Kulambiro-Kondogoro was named so, Kasibante says it came as a result of the place being a hotbed for crime since it was bushy and on the outskirts of Kampala. “In the 1970s and 80s, Kulambiro-Kondogoro was known for its high rate of crime. This therefore meant that the place was hostile to human settlement. Because there were quite a number of criminals at the place who were at the time referred to as Kondos. It was from this that it came to be known as kondogoro,” says Kasibante.
With the current wave of criminal activity in Uganda, Kanaan Luboyera, a resident at the place, says the ordinary people are more secure today than back in the days.
“Only mentioning the name Kulambiro can bring back memories of the late Andrew Kaweesi’s killing, however, that was the only big criminal activity that has happened in the area. The ordinary people [who are the majority] have been safer than ever before thanks to the security agencies like Uganda Police that do night patrols,” says Luboyera. This, he adds, means that the place is safe and ripe for human settlement.
Cost of land
Back in the days, Luboyera says land in Kulambiro-Kondogoro was privately owned by an individual called Ssali Magangabali Ssebuutu. With time, however, Magangabali went on to sell most of the land in the area to individuals.
For one to get a plot of land in Kulambiro-Kondogoro today, they would have to dig deep their pockets. Kasibante says 25 decimals of land in this place today can go for close to 300 million shillings while a 100 by 50 piece of land can go for close to 150 million shillings. This, he says, was not the case back in the days when a 50 by 100 piece of land went for only between 5 to 8 millions. Kasibante believes that the increase in the cost of land lately has come as result of high demand from the different people who have ended settling in the area.
Besides land, the cost of public transport to the area ranges between Shs2,000 to Shs3,000.
“Most people at Kulambiro-Kondogoro have white collar jobs, however, the ordinary people in the area are more into retail business and odd jobs,” says Kanaan Luboyera.
He also adds that only people with enough land have the opportunity to do activities like farming and others that may require a lot of land. This, he says, is uncommon since most people have only been left with small pieces of land and therefore cannot afford to engage themselves in activities like farming.
Just like any other place, people living in Kulambiro-Kondogoro have challenges.
Some of these according to Patrick Kasibante, the area’s local council chairperson, include poor rubbish disposal and unfinished roads.
“Kulambiro today is faced with two major challenges like poor rubbish disposal and poor state of roads.
For the last five years. The area’s leadership has been working hand in hand with Kampala City Council Authority.
However, upon its withdrawal, residents have majorly been involved in solving the problem of poor rubbish disposal,” says Kasibante.