Friday, 21 December 2012


On December 1, 2012 Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark the World AIDS day in Kasensero fishing village, Kakuuto, Rakai district. Like many villages in Uganda have two seasons, the dry and wet/ summer, many expect no rain during the dry season and if it rained during this dry spell, it means a big blessing. This is the same case for a Village like Kasensero hosting the president of Uganda when it’s not Campaign time for votes: the common slogan “Poko poko”.
The Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA: UHSNET) Joined the rest of the world by participating in the celebrations and sharing its experiences in the arena of HIV/ AIDS and it’s implication on housing

The theme for the 2012 celebrations:

“Re-engaging Leadership for Effective HIV Prevention”

This theme was based on the outcomes of the New York High level meeting in June 2011 after observation of a diminishing interest and commitment of world leaders in respect to the HIV/AIDS control. 

Kasensero and Rakai district leaders renew their commitment to the Zero Hiv/ Aids by renouncing to keep the promise.

Why WAD Celebrations were held in the far deeps of Kasensero?

*Historic reasons coined it up.
It is on record that when a mysterious illness first hit the landlocked Uganda during the 1980s, no one could spell it. It happened with alarming suddenness – formerly healthy people, most of them young adults, began losing weight and showing high susceptibility to common ailments. Doctors called it ‘the slim disease.’ But after a couple years of investigation, medical researchers finally attributed the scourge to a sexually transmissible retrovirus. Today, we know it as HIV. The disease has browsed and claimed lives in many families both in Uganda and beyond borders thus the Director General Uganda Aids Commission, Dr Kihumuro said that Kasensero hosted the celebrations because of history, making it clear that in 1982 the first HIV/AIDS cases in Uganda were identified in Kasensero, landing site on the shores of Lake Victoria, in Rakai District.

Thousands turned up for the celebrations

Why celebrate WAD in Uganda?

The celebrations are intended to raise social consciousness about personal responsibility in HIV prevention and breaking down social barriers caused by stigma and discrimination.

Cyclists struggle to take the lead in the Zero HIV/ AIDS race at Kasensero landing site

Clear the way…..)))) Am cycling to Zero HIV/AIDS

More than 50 Boda Boda riders  and motorists from Kasensero and the villages around,  joined a community run in a bid to raise awareness about the continued support needed to address HIV among high-risk groups and to celebrate the diversity of affected communities. 

Guided by the theme for WAD 2012 

Chairman, Uganda AIDS Commission Professor Vinand M Nantulya, makes it clear on the realities of HIV in Uganda. What do we know about the epidemic today? He asked.

We know that the epidemic is still raging in our country. Approximately 1.2 million Ugandans are currently infected and living with HIV. Moreover, we know that less than half of those who need to go on antiretroviral treatment are able to get the treatment. The prevalence rate has stagnated between 6.1% and 6.5%, and the number of new infections is rising alongside our growing population. In 2007 we had an estimated 105,000 new infections; rising to 110,000 in 2008, 124,000 in 2009 and 129,000 in 2010.The truth is that we do not know what the actual situation is since the survey data for 2010 are not yet out. What all this means that, we have to double our efforts, since even a single new infection would be one too many.  Professor Vinand

Leaders out cry for more support from Government to fishing villages.
On the Microphone the chairman LCV Rakai District Mugabi joseph, first on the right. Hon. Mathias Kasamba and the rest leaders in Rakai district

Thursday, 20 December 2012


 November. 24th.2012

Recognise, Accept and take on responsibility to create /maintain a healthy and sanitary environment.

Like the place name follows; “Nakulabye” literal meaning in Luganda meaning, "I saw you",
SSA:UHSNET and KCCA saw it ...
Rubaga division in conjunction with SSA-UHSNETas an endeavour to contribute to improved human settlements conditions in Uganda, extended their arms to Nakulabye Parish through organizing a community clean up exercise all in line with KCCA’s campaign dubbed -Kampala City Yange. At the front line was the responsibility recognition, acceptance and role playing and different levels, as we all include Source based reducing approaches in our Solid waste management strategies.
Clean up took place in the 9 villages of Nakulabye parish which included: Masiiro zone 3, Nakulabye zone 8, Tree zone 9, Mujumba zone, West Church, Buliluno zone1, Suzana zone1, Terra zone1, Nakulabye 1.

In green reflectors is some of SSA:UHSNET staff ,Middle( in Blue) is the Director public health  and environment-KCCA, witnessing the handover of tools provided by SSA:UHSNET to KCCA Rubaga division.

SSA:UHSNET at the bridge line of communities and their leaders.

In this clean up campaign, Rubaga division Authorities and the Network engaged with community members, Local Council leaders and KCCA'S technical staff all drawing attention to both communities’ right to a clean and healthy environment whilst emphasizing individual roles and responsibilities in preserving and protecting their environment.

People voluntarily take on Cleaning their streets

Thursday, 6 December 2012

World Habitat Day 2012

Housing Cooperatives and CSO’s in the housing sector celebrate World Habitat Day 2012

The Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA: UHSNET), in conjunction with Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA) celebrated this year’s World Habitat Day on Saturday the 27th of October in Mukono- Seeta. Presiding over the function, was the Director of Housing in the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development, Ambassador Agnes Kalibala. The objectives for the celebrations included reflecting on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. It also envisaged some of the good practices done by communities towards adequate housing and reminding ourselves of the collective responsibility for the habitat of future generations.

Housing cooperatives preparing for exhibition

The celebrations started with a hazy day, fortunately that did not stop housing cooperatives and community groups who wanted to showcase their practices on housing development and livelihood support. Indeed by 8am exhibitors had started organizing their masterpieces to showcase.

By 9am participants were ready to take it to the streets of Seeta with a band and posters to create an interest in the communites to take part in the event. The marching was joined by children, students and elderly.

When the guest of honour arrived at 10 am she was guided to plant a fruit tree in one of the school compounds as had been the practice to encourage and promote environmental friendly initiatives.

The guest of honour was then guided to observe and inspect exhibition stalls. With expectation and excitement exhibitors stood eagerly waiting for the director to admire their display. Looking stunned as she visited stall by stall, the director attended each stall as shown below in photos getting to know stories behind each group exhibiting.

One of the housing cooperatives showing the director photos of their future planned houses

Slum dwellers showcasing their innovative solar light bulbs using water bottles

Uganda builders showcase their housing technologies using interlocking blocks

Who says comedy dramas are only for “Kato Lubwama’s” (Comedian in Uganda)! The celebrations continued to unfold with humour. On stage was the drama team from cooperatives who painted a picture of what happens when one lacks adequate housing. A ripple of excitement spread through the crowd as the young man in the drama uses his ploy to sleep with all women in the community on false hopes of paying their rent dues.

It was now time to address participants on key pertinent issues behind the event. The Coordinator for HCDP from UCA, opened with a statement addressed to participants and the guest of honour representing government. In her remarks she called for more support and partnerships with government to steer housing development through cooperatives.

On behalf of the Executive Director for SSA:UHSNET, the project officer also gave remarks during the event. He stressed how the sector lacks learning models to accentuate affordable housing practices. He also called upon stakeholders to join the network and form more synergies to advocate and lobby for access to decent and affordable housing in the country.

The session ended with a statement from the guest of Honour Amb Agnes Kalimbala, Director for Housing. In her opening remarks she noted that half of the world’s people live in cities and in a little more than a generation, two thirds of the global population will be urban. As the proportion of humanity living in the urban environment increases, how is this growth going to be taken care of without compromising the countryside? Amidst winds of poverty, the high demand for housing and increasing cost of land, etc.

She also said that Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development is having arrangements with KCCA to review building codes. The ministry is also working on the Housing policy, construction of houses for public servants and re-shaping and embracing the housing cooperative model. Moreover, worked is carried out together with Makerere University and Kyambogo to research better building technologies/ practices. The guest of honor recognized and stressed the importance of both local and global partnerships in the face of confronting the challenges of shelter rights, accessibility and provision.

The function ended with a remarkable display of young students from host primary school with songs reflecting on how good housing can improve their future.