Developing NMT Policy, Hand in Hand with Partners’ Pilot Project 


Without proper infrastructure, cyclists are forced to use motor carriageways.
Photo Credit: UNEP

Uganda is Share the Road’s second pilot country. Both the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) and Uganda National Roads Authority were invited to the “Share the Road Report Launch and East Africa Workshop” at UNEP Headquarters in November 2010 (more on this meeting) . Following the meeting, UNEP learned of MoWT’s interest in developing a national Share the Road project.

In July 2011, a mission took place to Kampala, Uganda, in order to meet with key stakeholders and engage them in the Share the Road initiative. In total, 9 different government and civil society stakeholders were informed about the work and progress in Kenya, while discussing ideas for what is necessary in Uganda to promote walking and cycling. This was a joint UNEP and UN-Habitat mission in order to maximise coordination and cooperation between the two agencies both working on non-motorised transport (NMT) infrastructure – UNEP on the normative side and UN-Habitat on the operational side.

Focus Areas

1. Policy Development: National Policy on Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) with Urban Component

UNEP supported the MoWT and the First African Bicycle Information Organisation (FABIO) to develop a Non Motorised Transport (NMT) policy for Uganda . The national policy will address NMT issues in the country by: increasing the recognition of walking and cycling in transport planning, design, and infrastructure development; providing safe infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists; mainstreaming resources for walking and cycling in the financial planning of agencies; developing and adopting, by all agencies, universal design standards that provide access to all sectors of the community; and improving regulation and enforcement to enhance safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

UNEP further engaged FABIO to promote the NMT policy, while facilitating engagement and awareness raising on the need for investment in NMT infrastructure. This was done through several activities that included: organization of a workshop to build consensus on car free day activities and develop an implementation plan for the NMT policy - the workshop took place on 18 October 2012, and an agenda and workshop report produced by FABIO; training of volunteers for a Car Free Day event; and organization of a Car Free Day for Kampala in December 2012. FABIO also embarked on the production of a film that highlights the challenges, needs and benefits of NMT for Kampala, including information on the NMT pilot project for the city. Promotional materials such as T-shits and caps were also distributed.

Training of Trainers in Kampala, Uganda
Photo Credit: FABIO

In March 2014, FABIO in collaboration with the MoWT, University of Twente and UNEP organized a workshop with key stakeholders at national level to enhance ownership of the NMT policy, and mainstream its implementation in the ongoing government programs and projects. This was then followed by a two day Training of Trainers for ministry officials and municipal engineers aimed at facilitating better understanding of NMT issues, and bridging the gap to support incorporation of NMT infrastructure in urban areas. Resource persons from the University of Twente had been previously engaged by UNEP to develop a Courseware on NMT Situational Analysis , and the courseware was utilized for the first time during the Kampala Training of Trainers.

In April 2014, FABIO organized an awareness raising event in Kampala, which included car free day activities to further sensitize the youth, civil society organizations etc., on NMT issues. During the event, the NMT policy implementation approach was introduced and participants informed of the benefits of walking and cycling.

The Training of Trainers preceded consultations at local level that took place in the three districts of Mukono, Jinja and Iganga, selected to pilot implementation of the NMT policy. The local workshops were organized by FABIO, and facilitated capacity building for municipal officials and civil society, while providing them with an opportunity to exchange ideas and share knowledge. The workshop report for the three municipalities can be viewed here.

In 2015, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) expects that there will be more bicycles than vehicles and motorcycles on the city's roads. According to KCCA, 10% of the city’s population relies on private motor vehicles, 30% on public transport, and 60% on bicycles. Non-motorised transport will help decongest the city, and the authority has earmarked 3B Shillings for the construction of bicycle lanes. More on this initiative can be viewed here

2. Coordination with UN-Habitat on GEF-supported “Sustran” Project

Walking and cycling need to be promoted and integrated in transport investments.
Photo Credit: UNEP

UN-Habitat is leading the “Sustainable Transport Solutions for East African Cities (Sustran)” Project supported by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Sustran works in three cities, including Kampala, and will conduct feasibility studies and support detailed designs for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems that will incorporate NMT feeder networks. A pilot project in Kampala for pedestrianisation and NMT facilities is also part of the Sustran project. Both the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) are key government partners (UNEP is also leading one of the four project component on clean fuels and vehicle technology).

UNEP’s support to Uganda on the NMT policy links with the Kampala pilot project involving KCCA and UN-Habitat. For example, design standards contained in the national NMT policy can be applied in the pilot project for effective synergy between the normative and operational developments in Uganda.

Partners in Uganda

  • International Road Assessment Programme: iRAP is a registered charity dedicated to saving lives through safer roads by inspecting high-risk roads and developing Star Ratings and Safer Roads Investment Plans with government and NGO partners. 
  • Ministry of Works and Transport: MoWT’s mission is to promote an adequate, safe and well maintained public works and transport infrastructure and services so as to effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme: UN-Habitat, a sister agency of UNEP also headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is leading the “Sustran” project supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with projects in three cities including Kampala, Uganda. 


Key Reference Documents

  • iRAP Uganda: 2010 Technical Report: This report by the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) presents Star Ratings and Safer Roads Investment Plans for more than 2,400km of roads in Uganda.  It identifies opportunities to prevent more than 88,400 deaths and serious injuries over 10 years.