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“EUR 4.4 million needed for mapping Uganda”

Uganda: About 4.4 million euros (sh14b) is needed for a comprehensive mapping of Uganda over the next three years. According to Alex Lwakuba, commissioner for crop production and marketing in the agriculture ministry, mapping of the whole country is a very expensive venture which requires substantial amounts of money.

“But if we use the existing information in the reconnaissance report of 1958/60 and modern technology, the exercise could be done in six months at 1.2 million euros (sh3.8b),” said Lwakuba.

Lwakuba was commenting on the USD 7m (sh1.6b) which was proposed to cover the National Physical Development Plan formulation during a day-long workshop on the National Land Use Policy and National Physical Development Plan implementation in Kampala, Uganda.

Lwakuba regretted that Uganda’s land use and land cover information is outdated and does not capture all combinations of current land use that characterise the country.

He said mapping the country would help in dividing it into viable agricultural production zones for export. Participants noted that the three–year period beginning 2011, proposed for the preparation of the national physical development plan was too long.

The state minister for urban development, Urban Tibamanya, cautioned Ugandans against politicising and undermining the process of making a national land use plan. “Regardless of your political affiliation, let us join hands to give Uganda a nationally acceptable land use plan.”

Tibamanya called for a participatory process so that the final plan is owned by all Ugandans.

Source: New Vision Online