Informal open spaces provide places where slum dwellers in Uganda’s capital Kampala can exercise and do myriad other activities but the areas are constantly under threat, found a recent report by HealthBridge and the Non-communicable Diseases Information and Control Centre (NICC).
Not only were the 34 open spaces examined in the study used for recreational activities, including volleyball, netball, running, bike-riding and boxing, they were also used for activities such as traffic thoroughfares, gardening, prayer and as locales for vendors.
“For all residents—but slum dwellers in particular—open spaces are critical for individual wellbeing and public health,” concluded the report. Among its recommendations:
“It is important to realize the international vision of ensuring everyone has easy access to a safe, comfortable park and open space. In order to achieve such a vision residents, community organizations, and decision-makers at both the municipal and national level need to work together to plan, create, protect, and maintain both the formal and informal spaces that exist in the city.”