A Baseline Analysis of the Katanga Slums: Informing Urban Public Policy In Kampala, Uganda

  • James M Van Leeuwen Global Livingston Institute, Denver
  • Tinotenda Sekeramayi Creighton University
  • Christine Martell University of Colorado, Denver
  • Michael Feinberg Global Livingston Institute
  • Sam Bowersox-Daly Global Livingston Institute
Keywords: Katanga, slum, Uganda, international development, education, public health


Context/Background: Although almost 25 percent of Ugandans live under the national poverty line, little is known about the residents of the Kampala slums, especially pertaining to how conditions compare to other global baselines and how existing conditions affect public policy and service delivery.Methods: To better understand these conditions, this baseline analysis evaluates a pilot study and three years of cumulative data, involving 452 records from the Katanga slums collected from 2012 to 2015. The data draw from a representative sample of residents and offer an overview of residents’ conditions. The analysis evaluates access to health care, access to electricity, access to technology/cell phones, and educational levels to determine how people living in the Katanga slums compare to the global literature.Results: 78.6 percent report having access to a doctor, 62.4 percent report having access to food, and 87.4 percent report having access to clean water. Subjects resided in the slums on average for eight years with 46 percent immigrating from rural villages to Kampala.  Household sizes were between 4-5 persons and respondents reported higher than expected rates of health care access and higher than expected rates of primary and secondary education. Among conditions in the community, respondents reported food security (9.6 percent), money (20.6 percent), theft (8.2 percent), and access to medication (8.2 percent) as daily challenges. Over two-thirds of the respondents reported access to cell phone technology and 70 percent having access to some form of electricity.  Conclusion: The results are useful as a way to inform public policy and guide service delivery from public and nonprofit providers working with people in the slums to more strategically and efficiently target their resources and interventions. More importantly, this study speaks to the importance of establishing baseline studies in other similar settings as a way to gauge impact of public health and community development programs and to better understand and target the needs of people living in slum conditions.  This research also sets the stage for more informed and sophisticated analysis of the Katanga slum.

Author Biography

James M Van Leeuwen, Global Livingston Institute, Denver