Public has failed gov’t development plan – Baryomunsi

Resistance from members of the public has frustrated government’s plan to promote nucleated settlements in the country.

According to the State Minister for Housing Dr Chris Baryomunsi, government is engaging investors to invest in real estate sectors and housing development to promote nucleated settlements.

This however has been setback by a resistant public.

“I am sure all of you recall and know the case of Kasokoso; people in Kasokoso basically are settled on land which belongs to National Housing and Construction Company. Now National Housing has resources to transform the settlements into modern highraised structures but people resist. They want to remain in the informal scorit settlements where they are,” Baryomunsi said.

He said that government intends to set up condominium or highraised structures to free land for large scale commercial farming.

Government’s shift to nucleated settlements according Baryomunsi is because of the benefits that come with it in line of service delivery.

He said that the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development had identified land for housing development in Buliisa, Masindi, Hoima, Kiryandongo, Nwoya, Gulu, Nebbi, Arua, Zombo, Mbarara, Masaka, Jinja and Mbale districts for the nucleated settlements.

“It is extremely expensive for government to extend service like electricity and water because of the settlement patterns that we have in many parts of the country” said Baryomunsi.

He said the ministry has now incorporated the above concern in the developing National physical development plans which have designed especially for new municipalities and prospective regional cities of Gulu, Arua, Mbale and Mbarara.

But the delays in Land acquisition are also a hinderance to many of the planned infrastructural development projects which forced government to propose amendments to Article 26 of the Constitution to allow government to take possession of land for development projects before compensating the owner.

” There are delays which are occasioned by the provisions of the law; Article 26 of the Constitution says, Land belongs to the people but also government is given power and authority to compulsorily acquire land for purposes of public interest projects,” said Baryomunsi.

Baryomunsi said, they are still studying the subject to ascertain if they need to amend the Constitution or the Land acquisition Act before they get back to parliament to discuss the remedy to the delays crippling government projects.