Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kampala's Street-names, Plot Numbers and Burglars

The hardest thing to do in Uganda is to direct a friend or a visitor to your home or office. Take the example of the medical service provider who has asked us to provide directions to our homes. This is done so that in the event of an emergency, the ambulance can easily make an evacuation.

But when I got to that section, I failed to get an actual direction. It is common in Ugandanese, to direct someone by saying, "When you reach the Mvule tree, simply look to your right and follow the path. At the end, you will see a green-painted gate. Behind the gate, is a tiled house. Voila!"

A number of posh houses are located in neighbourhoods that bear no markings. If the neighbourhoods have any plot numbers, then they are known to only the owner and city authorities.

This is a problem that has been carried on from the past. During the days of insecurity before 1986, it was dangerous to have your property bearing a plot number. This would make it easy for burglars to easily trace their prey.

So, people found is appropriate to remove the plot markings. At least, this would provide ample safety. In the event that your locality has been traced, by the time the burglars are able to identify your plot number, it provides you opportunity to escape.

Lately, people have learnt to have closes to their residences. There are many unmarked roads, streets, lanes and avenues in the city centre. Even these roads have names, it is hard to know the street name. Often, it is only known to the city council authorities. In the event of a fire outbreak or housebreaking in the night, it would be hard for the victims to direct the Police Fire Brigade to come to the rescue.

Also, the same street could appear with different spellings of its name. While a person could decide to identify a road in their own name, without the city council approval. This has created names such as "Nabunya Close." While some people are so vain to name roads against after themselves as long as it leads to their houses. Also, another trend is the naming of roads after fallen African dictators such as Siad Barre Road, or British imperialists such as Speke, Burton, Hannington, and other least unknowns.

No comments:

Post a Comment