Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Plotting a better life in Ugandan slums

    Jon Spaull

    26/11/14
This film explores how Uganda’s National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) is working with local NGO ACTogether to mobilise slum communities in Kampala. It focuses on the informal settlement of Kibuye, one of Kampala’s 63 slums, capturing everyday life and documenting how technology is helping the community participate in decisions that affect their quality of life.
 
Historically, the Kampala Capital City Authority has had little information about the make-up of the city’s slums — and what it did have was outdated. ACTogether and the NSDF have engaged the residents of the slums, helping them to map their own neighbourhoods, and detailing both the demographics and the locations of physical structures such as toilets.
 
ACTogether set up forums in which residents and other stakeholders, including city authority officials, use the knowledge gained from mapping to discuss issues affecting the community, empowering residents to start taking control of life within the slums.
 
ACTogether is also keen to increase the involvement of academics in the slums’ future planning. It initiated the “Urban Studio” project  a partnership with Makerere University in which students spent time interacting with residents and learning first-hand about life in the slums — something that was missing from their academic courses. 

This article is part of the Spotlight on Transforming cites for sustainability.