Flooding in Kampala, a basket of story ideas

Downpours and floods in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan area are always a reminder of the many unreported and under-reported stories of the built and natural environment that Ugandan journalists and independent content producers can tell. Here’s a shortlist and some tips 

  1. What is the cost of urban flooding to the urban poor and those most vulnerable to these incidents? What policy action has been taken to mitigate this?
  2. What is the impact of KCCA and Wakiso LG efforts/investments in addressing the overburdened drainage systems? How (if at all) do these actions take into account unregulated construction and the topography/hydro-geomorphology of Kampala and Wakiso?
  3. Who is responsible for managing or regulation to prevent urban flooding? What do they do? What success or challenges do they face? What solutions are proposed?
  4. As the incidence of climate variability and extreme weather events increases, what is being done to increase the resilience of urban dwellers and to ensure the adaptive capacity of public infrastructure?
  5. Spotlight areas in the GKMA most vulnerable to flooding due to land cover/use change over the past 5 years. Are there any community-based actions to adapt to or mitigate the effects of urban floods?
  6. What is the impact of urban flooding on public infrastructure? What is the cost of maintenance, repair or reconstruction? Where will/does the money to finance this come from?
  7. Who is advocating for action regarding urban flooding? Profile organisations, government agencies and people doing interesting work in this area.
  8. Explore the nexus of poor environmental management, waste management, livelihoods and urban flooding. Find ways to unpack each issue and how they are related through a variety of story formats, programmes and platforms.
  9. How is climate risk being incorporated in urban planning?
  10. How can cities in Uganda prepare for flash floods caused by extreme weather?

Finally, here are a few tips for journalists Down pointing backhand index

  • Don’t wait for a disaster. You have an important role in raising awareness and providing information before a flood.
  • Don’t just tell stories about affected communities. Tell stories WITH them. Involve them in your reporting by finding out what information they need, focus on their concerns, and include as many diverse voices as possible in your stories.
  • Do your research. There are a number of MDAs, academics and CSOs studying and working on the problem of urban flooding. Read widely and contact experts to increase your knowledge, and to discover new voices and information to include in your reporting.
  • Do keep attention high. The problem of urban flooding is not going away. Keep a journal of evergreen story ideas on urbanisation, environment, weather and climate change to tell throughout the year.

Image by Nicholas Bamulanzeki

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