KCCA has been doing a good job in beatifying the city of Kampala. We appreciate efforts of planting grass and flowers along many major roads in the city. However we think that flowers are very expensive to maintain on city roads. The soil from the flower beds which are at the same time road islands often finds its way into the main road pavement thus causing an ugly site.
Planting flowers in the city wouldn’t be a problem. As city dwellers we love them. We want to have their smell. They also say a lot about the city and its status. The big question though is can we afford them. KCCA is struggling with a very meager budget which cannot go round to meet all the needs of our metropolis. As a city we need roads, we need functioning street lights, we need better water channels to control floods, we need the manholes covered, we need urban agriculture, we need leisure parks, we need wide streets, we need security in the city, we need ambulances, we need to fix the potholes on the roads, we need an efficient public transport and we need many more things in the city. The truth is that we have only a budget of UGX 400 Billion as a city.
With this little money therefore, we have to be frugal. How about if we spend it on very important things simply. We all agree that we need greenery in the city. We can therefore achieve this by planting trees and grass and not flowers. The reason why we don’t support flowers at this point in time is because they are very expensive to maintain. Secondly, when they are being weeded, the soil from the islands where they are planted spills over into the road creating mud and dust in the process. Road islands which are small like the one on the newly renovated Kira-Bukoto road. Kampala road and Jinja road too have flower gardens on the road island. It is common for the soil to flow into the road when it rains or even when the workers are weeding the flowers.
It is cheaper to cut the grass and prune the trees than looking after flower gardens in the islands. Let’s us in the meantime plant grass and maintain it rather than planting flowers which require us to always open up the soil during weeding. As resources allow we shall also upgrade to plant and maintain flowers.