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As part of the Knowledge for Action in Urban Equality (Urban KNOW) project, the Kampala City team hosted a workshop on the 13th of December, 2018, in collaboration with research partners from University College of London (UCL). Also in attendance were researchers and stakeholders drawn from the Urban Action Lab, Makerere University (UAL), Kasubi Parish local Community Development Initiative (KALOCODE), Lubaga Charcoal Briquette Cooperative Society Limited (LUCHACOS), ACTogether (the support NGO for Uganda’s Federation of Urban Poor), Shelter and Settlements Alternatives: Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA – UHSNET), Bwaise community members and a representative from Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. The project examines how urban areas are increasingly becoming unequal places and how rapid urbanization in developing countries creates attendant challenges for growing urban populations. This project, therefore, seeks to deliver transformative research and capacity building for innovation in policy and planning to promote Urban Equality based on three selected development challenges;  Resilience, Extreme poverty and Prosperity across 3 geo-political regions (Africa, South-east Asia and Latin America), and in nine cities in developing counties including Kampala.  Each of the participating cities have developed projects that respond to at least one of the three development challenges with the goal of identifying pathways to urban equality within their local context.

The workshop enabled interaction between the different researchers and stakeholders who will be co-producing knowledge for more equal urban places, to share the project aim and how the Kampala city case study fits into the big umbrella of the KNOW Project.
Women of Kasubi zone III under LUCHACOS (Photo Credit: David Heymann)

To get a deeper understanding of the Kampala City Partners project, the Energy Briquettes Production, the workshop was preceded by site visits to Kasuubi-Kawaala, Nakulabye,and Bwaise communities that are involved in the production of the energy briquettes, and which will be the sites for the Kampala City research. The workshop discussions revolved around understanding of the inequality in Kampala, why energy briquettes and how their production contributes to reducing extreme poverty in Kampala, improving resilience and thus promoting prosperity, and how the different briquettes producing community groups are organized.

“We have to start with what we have and in Kampala, where materials that have been traditionally thought of as useless and therefore deserve to be transported to a landfill, and an extra tax burden to the urban dweller of Kampala and a cost for the city authority, can now be thought about as materials which can be transformed into energy briquettes, into animal feed, and into composite manure. The idea is to create economic opportunities that the city has not thought about” said Professor Shuaib Lwasa, KNOW project Kampala City Lead while discussing the Kampala Inequality. He also stressed the lack of a formal social income classification and how it is paramount that other measures other than income poverty (based on expenditure) are found to measure poverty.

KNOW Team with members of Nakulabye Briquette Making Technology (Photo Credit: David Heyman)