It’s been a while since I was in Tororo so recently when I made a trip east to the land of the wise men, getting lost was top of menu. In my mind Tororo was still the small disorganized town that began and ended at the main round about as you enter the town like many other towns as you move away from the Kampala, the capital of the country.
Back in the day Tororo was as big a few footsteps around town so small that when you left you were welcomed by boda boda cyclists with their trade mark TCM marked bicycles where number plates sit if it were a vehicle. The sidewalks built in typical Indian style always had rows after rows of men seated in verandahs engaged in small talk that usually led to nowhere.
When you left these groups behind the darkness crept in and strong sense of lifelessness crept all over you. For miles that’s all you saw. Back in the town center the crowding was at its peak and given the small size of the town we all knew everyone the maize seller, the street vendor who worked in front of the Indian owned supermarket. When a new shop opened at one end of the town we all knew this like old news, when the faces of the Indians changed behind the counter we also knew this since they rarely changed much or often.
Fast forward to 2016 one small change and the whole town had changed. It looked cleaner, larger that the eye would see. It all started with the voting in of the new administration that came with little regard of small street talk actually we handed out futures to an Indian of all people. Bit by bit he started to implement a vision only he could see.
First they deleted those annoying pavements from every building from one end of the street to another. With the pavements gone the roads had started breathing which was spread to the buildings and before long the whole town started looking spacious. You could stand a one end of the street and not feel like you are being sufficed in a sea of concrete only punctuated by human bodies minding their own business. Right now even though not comparable to the capital feels a livable city that is welcoming and thanks to the big spaces looks clean although you will find the odd misplaced polythene bag here or there.
This ingenious ideas is something other towns cab adopt to feel more spacious. Take Kampala city imagine if all the pavement space was done away with we wouldn’t have all this jam, street vendors I doubt. The city would also start to feel clean and organized just as Tororo now feels and all it needs is a small tweak to how development is being implemented.