By Joshua Kato and Juliet Lukwago
Wakiso was just like any other village until it was granted town council status in 2002 when it was made the district headquarters.
According to the Local Government Act, the nearest trading centre of a newly-formed district becomes a town council despite their status. The few mud-and-wattle houses immediately became a town Council. For five years, the town council had been facing challenges and recently, local leaders talked to the town clerk, Authman Ssebadduka, about the challenges.
When was the town council launched?
-It was launched in 2002, by virtue of the fact that it was the nearest trading centre to the new district headquarters. According to the 2002 elections, we had a population of around 16,000 people, but I think it is now between 25,000 and 30,000.
What have been the major challenges of managing the town council?
-We did not have a structural plan to follow when we were developing the town. A structural plan guides on where to put what and why. People started constructing and out developing the town, despite the absence of a plan and this is bound to cause problems.
You have not completed drawing the structural plan, yet garbage is one of the major problems urban areas have. How will you handle garbage disposal?
-It is a big problem for us. We do not have enough money to afford a truck that ferries garbage. However, we have hired private companies to collect garbage.
We intend to sensitise the masses to contribute towards garbage collection. Big shops and businesses can contribute sh1,000 per week, while small businesses contribute sh500.
We encourage residents to have dustbins near their premises so that garbage is not dumped anywhere. We have also joined hands with Kakiri and Nansana town councils and purchased a site that we intend to turn into a garbage refilling area.
This is one of the town councils that have no standard market. Why?
-This was a rural area that suddenly became a town. There was no provision for a market. People just erected shades at the roadside and turned them into markets.
We do not have any established markets. However, because we do not have our own land, we are working with land lords in order to get a place where we can establish a proper market.
How is sanitation like in the town council?
-It has not been a big problem. We have piped water in most parts of the town. We have also extended water to Kayunga trading centre. In areas where there is no piped water, we have set up protected wells. Our town will benefit from Out Put Based Aid, a project funded by the World Bank.
What is the state of the roads in the town council?
-The main road was constructed by the central government, but the road to the district headquarters was tarmacked by the district. There are other feeder roads that we are working on.
How do you handle security problems?
-Security is a national issue. But as local leaders, we also play a role. We have secretaries for security at the local council level. They meet regularly and discuss security threats to the town.
The town council does not have any government-aided secondary school, what are you doing about it?
-We have over 30 primary and secondary schools. Five of them are government-aided primary schools. We need to have a government-aided secondary school. We are lobbying for support from the Government.
Where do you see Wakiso town a few years from now?
It will be a better place, especially as we start implementing our structural plans.