Make Uganda Clean
Abim's rocky walk in quest of a clean town
Publish Date: Nov 15, 2013
Abim's rocky walk in quest of a clean town
Abim town relies on borehole for water.
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In the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group is profiling major urban centres in the country, highlighting their sanitation situation, culminating into a gala night on November 25, where the cleanest towns will be recognised. Today, we bring you the profile of Abim town.

By Stephen Ssenkaaba

Abim town council is yet to improve its sanitation. It is currently battling serious cleanliness issues, which call for immediate attention.

Abim is found in north eastern Uganda. It is the main administrative and commercial centre of Abim district. It is one of the towns that form the Karamoja region.

It is approximately 428km from Kampala and takes more than seven hours to travel to Abim from Kampala due to the poor state of the roads and inadequate vehicles plying the route.

 Abim was formerly known as Labwor County in Kotido before it was elevated to a district status on July 1, 2006.

According to a recent Vision Group survey, this town lacks facilities for waste management and public toilets.

Forty-three percent of the respondents said they knew about cleaning schedules for the town, but were on the overall dissatisfied with the cleanliness of the town, especially the streets, markets and dustbins.

Only 21% of the respondents had seen dustbins in the town.

These, they said, were insufficient and dirty. All the respondents reported it was not easy to locate a dustbin in Abim town.

Forty-three percent of the respondents had seen someone litter the town in the past three months. Only 21% of the respondents said they personally avoided littering, 21% have taken part in the cleaning exercises and 29% have sensitized other people about cleanliness.

Public toilets are a huge menace here. While 36% of the respondents said they were aware of a public toilet in the town, they added that these toilets were very dirty.

It costs on average sh200 to access a public toilet, but many people cannot afford it. The town is also teeming with overgrown grass. Indeed, 64% of the respondents said they had noticed grown grass in the town.

There is no effort to clear the bushes. Livestock freely move about the town, contributing to the already dirty environment. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents claim to have seen animals loitering in town.


One of the biggest problems facing Abim is the absence of a reliable source of water. Boreholes are the major source of water in Abim town, according to 57% of the respondents. This water, the respondents said, is neither regular nor clean.

Abim town council does not have proper street lighting and because of that, 57% of the respondents said the streets are not safe at night.

On top of the darkness, the town remains noisy.

All the respondents did not believe that there was any noise control programmes in the town. The main sources of noise include motor vehicles, religious prayers, traders, boda boda riders and taxi operators.

The road network is in a bad state so much that even the murram roads that are prevalent have potholes. Majority of the buildings in town have old paint on them.

In numbers

2006: The year Abim became a district thereby becoming a town council. It was carved out of Kotido.
92,000: The estimated population of Abim district.
57%: The percentage of respondents who said boreholes were the main source of water.


 

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Find plenty other stories of the campaign here: Make Uganda Clean campaign articles

 

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