TOP
Friday,November 16,2018 06:44 AM

Dokolo averagely clean, but...

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd October 2013 12:50 PM

Dokolo is a small town, but one that is trying its best to be clean. It has a somewhat deceptive aura

2013 10largeimg223 oct 2013 095030370 703x422

Dokolo is a small town, but one that is trying its best to be clean. It has a somewhat deceptive aura

DOKOLO TOWN

By Stephen Ssenkaaba and Patrick Okino
In the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group is profiling major urban centres in the country, highlighting their sanitation situation, with a view to recognising the cleanest towns at the end of November. Today, we bring you profiles of Dokolo and Namutumba towns

Dokolo is a small town, but one that is trying its best to be clean. It has a somewhat deceptive aura that presents clean, well-paved roads. This picture, however, gets messy as one goes further along the streets.

The town is found in Dokolo County, which was split from Lira district in 2006. It then became a district, and it is the main town. Since then the town has taken modest steps to improve its environment. It is close to seven years now and Dokolo town continues to grapple with sanitation issues.

The main market here has only one public toilet with five stances. This toilet is dirty and is hardly adequate to serve Dokolo town’s population of 18,000 people. “The only toilet we have serves over 500 people who come to the market every day. This is worrying,” Joseph Aloka Atum, a local resident says.

Findings from a recent Vision By Stephen Ssenkaaba and Patrick Okino Dokolo is a small town, but one that is trying its best to be clean. It has a somewhat deceptive aura that presents clean, well-paved roads. This picture, however, gets messy as one goes further along the streets.

The town is found in Dokolo County, which was split from Lira district in 2006. It then became a district, and it is the main town. Since then the town has taken modest steps to improve its environment. It is close to seven years now and Dokolo town continues to grapple with sanitation issues.

The main market here has only one public toilet with five stances. This toilet is dirty and is hardly adequate to serve Dokolo town’s population of 18,000 people. “The only toilet we have serves over 500 people who come to the market every day. This is worrying,” Joseph Aloka Atum, a local resident says. Findings from a recent Vision Group poll indicate mixed feelings on cleanliness and hygiene in the town.

The survey shows that while residents are generally satisfied with the cleanliness of the town, there are major concerns in regard to the state of the markets, streets and waste management. Even though 87% of respondents reported having seen dustbins in the town, littering in the town remains a common practice. Indeed, 60% of the respondents said they had seen someone litter the town in the past three months.

Sixty percent of the respondents also felt that Dokolo town is polluted. Sewage bursts were reported to pose a serious threat to the town and 5% of our respondents said that action to have them fixed is indeed slow. The town lacks a central sewer system and this is causing many problems.

Ninety-five percent of the respondents said they have seen livestock/poultry loitering in Dokolo town in the last six months. Human waste is managed through the pit latrines although toilet coverage remains poor. Where they exist, public toilets have been reported to be averagely clean.

It costs sh194 to access a public toilet in Dokolo town and this may be putting off a number of people who cannot afford this fee; heightening incidences of poor waste disposal in polythene bags and nearby bushes. Despite the existence of a plan, infrastructure remains poorly developed. The town has one planner, two health inspectors and two engineers, but no lands, education and environment officers.

true
Dokolo’s main market

Top on the agenda:
Set standards for buildings

General cleaning

  •  Every first Friday of the month has been dedicated to cleaning the town by residents, staff and politicians


According to the town planning office, Dokolo town has a budget of about sh500m this financial year. The town council health inspector, Solomon Adiyo says sanitation takes sh15m of this entire budget. Even though this is not enough, more effort is put into supporting sanitation and hygiene initiatives.

Some of this money, he said, has been used to construct a 10-stance ecosan latrine at the district headquarters. “We have dedicated every first Friday of the month to Keep Dokolo Town Clean activities. All residents come to sweep the streets, collect rubbish, clear the bushes and clean the verandahs.

This they do together with the staff and politicians,” Adiyo said. To improve order in the town, there is a plan to set building standards in the town. There is also plan to closely work with NGOs to support the town council’s work, especially in promoting good hygiene and sanitation. “We have a five-year strategic plan, which will involve providing all households in the town council with piped water from the town’s main water supply station in Kachung,” Adiyo said

NAMUTUMBA TOWN

Namutumba’s streets of filth and faeces
By Stephen Ssenkaaba and Charles Kakamwa
It is the gateway to Busoga from the east; a thriving centre of activity. But there is something wrong with Namutumba town.
Its infrastructure is ailing and several of the planned roads are yet to be opened. Apart from the major highway that cuts right through the town, Namutumba has no other tarmac road. Food is sold along dusty roads and the dirt from passing cars, animals and other filthy fumes all end up in the restaurants.

The town is littered with animal droppings. Here, residents and travellers seem to compete for space with animals, which move freely along the streets. Gertrude Musobya, a trader in Namutumba market, says it is not uncommon to find faeces in the market especially, in the unfinished stalls.

“Our leaders’ major concern is collection of market dues from traders, while paying no attention to cleanliness of the surrounding in which we operate,” she says. According to Musobya, each trader in the market pays sh1,000 every Tuesday, which she believes is meant to keep the place tidy.


Findings from a recent Vision Group survey indicate appalling sanitation conditions. The survey conducted between August and September found that in general, Namutumba town residents were not happy with the state of cleanliness of the town. They were particularly concerned about their roads, markets, waste disposal and toilet coverage. According to the survey, 47% of the respondents had ever seen dustbins in the town.

However, these bins were reportedly insufficient. Fifty-four percent of the respondents reported it was not easy to locate a dustbin in the town while 64% had ever seen someone litter the town in the last three months, while 51% had done nothing to improve cleanliness here. Eighty-two percent of the respondents said they had ever seen livestock/poultry loitering in Namutumba town in the past six months,making an already unclean town even messier.


In an attempt to control loitering animals, council has proposed a bylaw that will have all owners of offending animals pay a sh100,000 fine for each animal. Even though it has not yet to be approved, this law, Nyombi believes will rid the streets of the filth caused by loitering animals.

Thirteen percent of the respondents claimed to have seen sewage bursts with no efforts to repair them. Public toilets still pose a great challenge to Namutumba as the majority of the respondents claimed. Many parts of Namutumba also teem with overgrown grass as said by 49% of the respondents. For a place that has enjoyed town council status since 2006, things are not looking very good for Namutumba. Local leaders here acknowledge that things need to be improved. Indeed, some of them claim, they are doing their best, amid enormous challenges

true 

The only tarmac road in Namutumba. Photos by Charles Kakamwa

GOOD PRACTICES
The town has dedicated part of its sh600m budget to garbage collection. Out of this, sh24m, according to Nyombi, was allocated to garbage collection; sh2m to tree planting, sh2m for purchase of garbage skips and sh2m is to facilitate sensitisation of locals on proper hygiene.

Nyombi notes that initially council had placed garbage skips in different corners of the town, but withdrew them because the residents misused them. “Instead of using the facilities for collection of refuse, residents would put human waste and animal carcasses into them creating a filthy environment and unpleasant smell,” he argues.

The town council obtained a tractor from the Government, which drives around town collecting garbage and deposits it at a dumping site in Nakalokwe village about two kilometres from the town centre. Town council leaders are also talking to
residents about proper sanitation.

Plans are underway to construct more toilets with support from the Government, through the Ministry of Water and Environment. These will be constructed this financial year alongside a water office in the town. Nyombi says the council is working in collaboration with a UK town, Ross-on- Wye, to set up another public toilet in town.

Sanitation highlights

GARBAGE
Garbage disposal remains a huge challenge in this town as heaps of refuse, dirty water from households and polythene bags litter nearly every street

TOILETS


There is only one public toilet that is said to be dirty. While the mayor Mawazi Nyombi claims access to the toilet is free, Jennifer Mutesi, who lives a few metres from the public toilet says it costs sh200
 

Dokolo averagely clean, but...

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles