Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Judith Nabakooba has revealed an ambitious National Spatial/Physical Development Plan to promote sustainable development and responsible resource management.

Addressing journalists at Uganda Media Center on Monday the Minister alluded that the objective of this strategic endeavor is to efficiently use land and maximize the nation’s riches, especially in urban planning in local governments.

The strategy prioritising efficient use of space and resource allocation might promote sustainable development, curb urban sprawl, and protect natural environments.

According to Nabakooba, Uganda is currently among the few African countries with a National Physical Development (Spatial) plan which was approved under Minute 407(CT 2023) in November 2023 and gazzetted on 13th November 2023.

Before revealing its advantages the minister first clarified that although there are other national planning documents like Comprehensive National Development Planning Framework (CNDF), National Development Plan III (NDP III) and Vision 2040, the spatial component was missing and yet very critical as far as strategic location of our cities, key infrastructure and orderly and sustainable use of land was concerned.

She revealed that the National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) is key in reorganizing the limited land and coming up with strategies for effective land utilization since Uganda’s land is constant while the demand for land uses is ever-increasing.

“Overall, national-level spatial decisions have not been guided by a well thought out comprehensive spatial framework, which has negatively impacted on the overall development efforts. This has negated the optimal utilization of land and land-based resources, efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure networks, as well as undermining the integrity of the environment, especially the eco-sensitive areas,” she said.

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She, however, noted that NPDP connects very well with the current Vision 2040, which aims at transforming Uganda from a predominantly peasant and low-income country to a competitive, middle-income, and modern industrialised nation.

Why NPDP

The minister noted that Ugandans must know that it is paramount to note that the National Physical Development Plan (NPDP 2021-2040) will enable Uganda to achieve; Increased productivity in Agriculture with agro-processing industries and to export markets via transport corridors. Properly serviced industrial sites on infrastructure corridors connected to the actual places where there is production, to give the massive boost to industrialisation. Urban areas will prosper in the above pattern and become engines of economic growth. And will act as a guide in safeguarding the protected areas and avoiding degradation of natural resources.

“The NPDP will provide the analytical parameters for the planned allocation, use and management of the country’s land and other physical resources, as well as the most efficient location of infrastructure, towns and cities, and how they link to the surrounding rural areas. It is intended to serve as a framework through which the spatial location of investments, as well as planning and management of resources, are guided at the national level,” she said.

She also noted that the NPDP is a tool that will Identify spatial planning issues and concerns, particularly those which are relevant on the local, regional and national levels by recognizing physical and competitive environments that initiate, and foster, the most efficient use of our land, which is a finite resource.

Meanwhile, the minister also noted that implementation of the National Physical Plan will occur through the concerted efforts of all programs, Development partners, NGOs and Civil society.

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“MLHUD will be responsible for ensuring that these Physical Plans are prepared and reflect the spatial principles and strategies of NPDP and NDP. It is therefore very important to have a wider and more comprehensive representation from all development sectors and all sectors are requested to coordinate to ensure the successful implementation and sustainability of NPDP,” she added.

The post Minister Nabakooba Announces National Spatial Development Plan to Optimize Land Use and Harness Country’s Wealth Effectively appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

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