Monthly Archives: April 2015

21st April 2015 – Stephen and Brenda

I spent most of the day with Stephen and Brenda. They go back to the village tomorrow – to Rukungiri to share cake with friends and family who could not come to the wedding. They have a small house down the hill from White Crest away from the Entebbe Road and Lubowa which Stephen has been renting for the past 6 months. Enjoyed a big meal of matoke, rice, beans, meat and roast potatoes followed by pineapple and water melon. I had my first home made passion fruit juice of the stay in Uganda – something Jo really likes.

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I had quite a surprise this morning because in among my emails was one from Google+. I have an account with them but have never used it. Apparently their computers have been beavering away in the background creating different ‘stories’ with some of my photos over the past few years. They have just automatically sent me a link to a two day story that has been created from some of my time in Uganda. It happens to relate to the time in Kisoro and shows the two water tanks. So I thought I’d paste the link here just in case it can be read without a password:

And finally …. Jo will know what I mean by this …. so ask her. Just a little bit of a Nice moment! SimonPeter and Lisa’s dog has a litter of puppies.

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20th April – Farmland!

John left today to drive to the farmland.100_6166

About 5 years ago John and Alice bought land to farm so as to provide food for the school they run in Rukungiri. They had to go quite a distance to get enough land ata price that they could afford. This is where John and Alice have their farm. It is a very under-developed area with no electricity or running water.

The village: Kijongobya

The sub-district: Mpare

The district: Kyegegwa

The nearest town: Kyegegwa

Region: Toro

You can find out about Kyegegwa on this site:

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Their farm is a little north of the river about 20 km to the East of Katonga Game Reserve (there are maps below).

This is Katonga Game Reserve:

The farm is around 3 to 4 hours drive from Rukungiri but the land was very cheap as the area was underdeveloped. Land is fertile in the area, so it is a very good investment. John has now been given care of the local Parish of 8 churches and John and Alice have already started a Primary School in the area. A friend from the UK is hoping to fund the first part of a project to build a Secondary School.

This link might give a good idea of the location of Kyegegwa District you might need to copy and paste it to your browser to get it to work.

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Just for comparison, here is a map showing Rukungiri’s location.

20th April 2015 – Retreat Time

Retreat Time

After a great deal of busyness I have had time to myself, doing some reading and reflection and looking at a second draft of a book about Shame and the Cross. The temperatures are not too high and it is good to be here.

100_6166Today, John has returned to the farmland in the Rwenzori area that they use to supply crops for food for Rukungiri Modern Primary School. Alice will probably set off tomorrow for Rukungiri. I am hoping to see Stephen and Brenda again over these next two days.

John wanted me to travel with him to the farm land today. I felt that  4 hour journey today, a 4 hour journey back tomorrow, a flight on 22nd, and travelling up to Scotland on 23rd was probably trying to do too much in 4 days. So, very sadly (?), we’ll need to come again soon! John and Alice really do want us to visit their farmland and the new parish that John has in the Diocese of Rwenzori.


18th April 2015 Kampala Traffic

After a long day yesterday, today has been a relaxing day at White Crest Guesthouse. One of the reasons the day was so long yesterday was the unbelievable amount of time spent in Kampala traffic getting from one venue to another. We must have been in cars for close to 3 hours all told.

The Entebbe Road is notoriously bad with stationary traffic nose to tail for much of the day. The City Centre is also gridlocked most of the time.


There is a grand plan and plenty of images on the internet of what might get built to alleviate the problem.

War on traffic jam: The big plan


By Brian Mayanja (New Vision)

In a bid to reduce traffic jam in the city, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has unveiled a new development plan to construct over ten major roads, beginning this year.

The Kampala Physical Development Plan (PDP), which covers the city’s development between 2012 and 2040, also proposes the creation of road tolls.

Three ring roads, express way, urban freeways, Northern and Southern Bypass and radial roads will be constructed in areas known as Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA).

Areas include Nsangi, Goma, Nakisunga, Nansana and Entebbe. In the same areas, KCCA proposes to create five satellite cities.

It proposes new roads with two lanes per direction and free flow speed of 90km per hour. The plan also involves road marking, signs and road upgrading.

The $39b road network programme will commence this year, according to PDP. Over the longer term (2023-2040), further investment of $124b will be required for infrastructure and employment opportunities

KCCA also proposes that a road network should be constructed from Luzira to Nakisunga, through Lake Victoria.

Speaking to New Vision recently, KCCA’s director for physical planning, Joseph Semambo, explains that the radial roads will be created from the city centre, moving outwards, then connected to northern and southern bypass.

The radial roads will be interconnected with the three ring roads. According to the plan, the three ring roads are divided into inner, middle and outer.

“We shall construct the southern ring, which will be connected to Nakisunga in Mukono district. If one wants to go to areas near the city, one will not need to first connect to the city centre. The cardinal principle is to fight traffic jam,” Semambo explains.

He says the express way will connect east to the west of the city. He adds that it will run parallel to the railway reserves.

Under this plan, the southern and northern bypass will occupy Jinja road, Gayaza road, Masaka road, Hoima road and Bombo road.

Semambo reveals that KCCA has already acquired permission from the Uganda Railways Corporation to use the land bordering the railway line in the city.

“We shall evict those occupying railway reserves. The reserve space is about 60-70 metres wide,” he says.

Asked whether people occupying areas designed for construction of major roads will be evicted, Semambo says the authority agreed to build the roads on top of wetlands to minimise demolishing buildings.

A number of development donors active in Kampala have shown interests to fund this project, including World Bank, European Union, Africa Development Bank, UN-Habitat, UNICEF and UNESCO.

If no new roads are constructed within few years, experts say it will cause major gridlock due to increasing population and a high standard of living.

“Even with large investments in the road network, the city will still experience congestion and slow speeds during peak hours,” the plan reads.

Therefore, to obtain a sustainable transport system in the long run, consultants recommend that the authority should develop an attractive Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in the transport sector. This means that for the first stage, MRT will be based on buses.

The consultants also suggest that KCCA introduces and enforces strict demand traffic management strategies like congestion pricing, parking management and low emission zones.

Experts want to coordinate and integrate the taxi service with bus operations. The taxi routes should feed and complement bus transit routes, but not compete with them.

They say a new ticketing system should be introduced, to allow more ticket options, including the ability to have a seasonal tickets.

A recent House Hold Survey conducted in 2011 revealed that almost 60% of all activities made by people with low income in GKMA are done through walking.

The survey said the main reason for not using public transport is the high cost because travellers pay for every trip they make.

Currently, the cost of a single trip varies between sh1,000 and sh2,000 in the city.

A Festival of Good Food in Tameside


This year Tameside Markets have joined forces with About Tameside magazine to present the Tameside Food Festival 2015. The event ties in with Love Your Local Market and the annual Celebrate Tameside Food & Drink Awards. Beginning on May 9th on Denton Civic Square you will find a mix of food retailers offering fresh produce and hot food to make your mouth water. There will be live cooking demonstrations by the Ashton Farmers’ Market Chef and free food crafts for the children. Joining the fun will be Teddy Tameside and Maggie the Magpie, Tameside Market’s mascot. For the first event in Denton we will be welcoming the Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Dawson Lane, who will be meeting some of the local food traders.

Organisers have been delighted to have support from local Town Teams from Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden, Denton and Hyde to bring these events to the town centres. There is also additional sponsorship from Irwell Valley Housing and Santander. The second event will actually be part of Stalybridge Farmers’ Market on May 10th around Armentieres Square.

The Food Festival will be appearing at some key locations in Tameside comprising:

May 9th – Denton Civic Square
May 10th – Armentieres Square, Stalybridge
May 16th – Villemomble Square, Droylsden
May 23rd – Civic Square, Hyde
May 30th – Market Ground, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Visitors to the event will also be able to find out more about the local town teams, the Tameside Loyalty Card and how to vote for their favourite café, restaurant, bakers/confectioners and take-away.

Come along for a great day out and support some of the great food outlets we have here in Tameside.

For further information email –

Details also available on your local Town Team website