Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From the calm of the countryside to the hustle of Kampala

Accustomed to the relative calm and quiet of the countryside, only to be hit by the noise, dust and congestion in Kampala when i returned at the weekend. I must say "Kamunyes" or bread vans cum human vans donning blue and white stripes are one of Kampala's biggest tourist attractions or repellants, depending on which side of the debate you are on.
I always tell people who care to listen that the "Kamunye" industry is the biggest employer in Kampala with hundreds if not thousands of young men acting as drivers, conductors, stage monitors, taxi park sellers, ticket sellers and taxi guides to mention a few. But does Kampala need all these hundreds of taxis that only worsen the already nagging traffic jams and pollution? The other day, Ugandan journalist Timothy Kalyegira commented that if the smoke hovering over the olympic bird's nest in Beijing is what the west calls high levels of pollution then Kampala could possibly be declared a no-go zone. This summarizes the pollution levels in Kampala.
This time round, as i was travelling, fewer passengers risked eating "nyama choma" or roasted meat on the way maybe because of the fear of unsuspectingly eating dogs. As you may be aware, a couple of weeks ago, some Kampalans were nabbed slaughtering a dog and a few days later a local tabloid reported that hundreds of stray dogs in Kyambogo-a Kampala suburb had disappeared and it was feared that this meat is on sale to unsuspecting customers.
Otherwise, it was nice returning to Mutungo after a long time in Kitgum. They say East or West....Nyumbani ni bora....
Be blessed

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