Its rich History
The city was planned under colonial rule in 1948 by Ernst May, German architect and urban planner. May also designed the urban planning scheme for Kampala, creating what he called “neighborhood units.” Estates were built for the ruling elite in many parts outside the center city. This led to the area’s ‘slum clearance’ which displaced more than 1,000 residents in the 1950s.
In 1954, the construction of the Owen Falls Dam submerged the Ripon Falls. Most of the “Flat Rocks” that gave the area its name disappeared under water as well. A description of what the area looked like can be found in the notes of John Hanning Speke, the first European to lay eyes on the source of the Nile:
Though beautiful, the scene was not exactly what I expected, for the broad surface of the lake was shut out from view by a spur of hill, and the falls, about twelve feet deep and four to five hundred feet broad, were broken by rocks; still it was a sight that attracted one to it for hours. The roar of the waters, the thousands of passenger fish leaping at the falls with all their might, the fishermen coming out in boats, and taking post on all the rocks with rod and hook, hippopotami and crocodiles lying sleepily on the water, the ferry at work above the falls, and cattle driven down to drink at the margin of the lake, made in all, with the pretty nature of the country—small grassy-topped hills, with trees in the intervening valleys and on the lower slopes—as interesting a picture as one could wish to see.”