The East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) has urged regional body’s Council of Ministers to develop a regional urban planning policy for the bloc to have better co-ordinated cities and cross-border towns and put in place remedial measures to disasters.
A Resolution, moved by Hon Nancy Abisai to that effect was adopted by the Assembly, and members want the Council of Ministers to establish an Urban Development Desk at the EAC to co-ordinate urban development matters in the region.
“Large concentrations of people and goods providing for increased opportunities for creativity, larger labor markets, and higher levels of productivity, not to speak of the cultural and political opportunities associated with urban life is the norm” a section of the Resolution states.
In her justification, Hon Abisai said that population growth has doubled in a number of countries in the globe, with Uganda and Tanzania expected to double their population by the year 2050.
According to Hon Abisai, Uganda which has a populace of 39 million is expected to have over 100 million in the next thirty four years, while Tanzania which has an estimated population of 53.7 million people will see the growth reach 137 million people during the same period.
During debate, Hon Christopher Opoka, Hon Kirunda Kivejinja, Hon Sarah Bonaya, Hon Frederic Ngenzebuhoro all supported the motion.
Analysts contend that the recent rainstorms, mudslides and floods in the capital cities of some of the EAC Partner States and other weather phenomena have exacted a devastating toll on property, human welfare, natural resources and the economies, with more than 95% of all deaths caused by disasters occurring in areas which are mostly unplanned.