TALK about towns with proximity to the biggest water source in the country and Namayingo comes to mind.
BY JOHN MASABA AND GEORGE BITA
In the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group is profiling major urban centres in the country, highlighting their sanitation situation. On November 25, there will be gala night, where the cleanest towns will be recognised. Today, we profi le Namayingo and Rubirizi town councils
TtrueALK about towns with proximity to the biggest water source in the country and Namayingo comes to the mind. The town is
on the shores of the world’s second largest fresh water source, Lake Victoria. So, you would expect equally abundant supplies of water for quenching the thirst of about 26,000 of its residents. Ironically, the town is struggling for water. It has no piped water.
It is not a surprise that in the Vision Group survey, residents gave their town an unhealthy approval rating of only 0.3/10, as far as providing clean water is concerned. The main source of water was the public well (40%) and the borehole (33%). Although piped water was ranked as the biggest source of clean water with a rating of 5.4/10, the supply is irregular and almost non-existent, taking an unpalatable rating of 0.3/10.
Authorities say the town sits on a sanitation time bomb. “This is our third year of operation as a town council and it has not been smooth sailing. The local revenue sources are limited and very unreliable,” said Charles Ouma, the town clerk. Carved out of Bugiri district, Namayingo gained town council status in July 2010. But whilst there was jubilation and dreams that the town was destined for great things because of its new status, those great things are yet to come.
A TIME BOMB
According to the survey, authorities remove garbage from the roadside dumping sites regularly. Unfortunately, due to lack of
dustbins, the rubbish is just littered. Thus, only 13% of the respondents reported ever seeing dustbins in the town. This resulted in an approval rating of only 1.8/10. Few dustbins were seen on the streets, roadsides and shops. The majority of respondents (80%) said they did not know where the dustbins were.
The town has no skip or bunker for disposing garbage. And although it has a landfill, the garbage is taken about three kilometres away by town authorities.
The problem is compounded by poor garbage disposal by residents. This tallies with the findings, which indicated that 87% had ever seen someone litter the town in the past three months.
Asked what could be done to improve hygiene and sanitation in the town, 20% of the respondents said people should avoid littering, while 7% said people should take part in the cleaning exercise. About 40%, think the solution lies in sensitising people about living in a clean environment.
The town has no problem of burst sewers Pit-latrine coverage was quite commendable. Asked whether they were aware of public toilets in the town, most of the respondents (93%) said they were aware.
Another 77% said they were aware of the VIP pit-latrine, while 39% were aware of the traditional pitlatrine. However, most respondents ranked public toilets as being dirty, thus a score of 3.4/10. The average cost of access was sh108. The town council, however, owns one public pit-toilet.
ANIMALS ON THE LOOSE
Being a rural town, Namayingo faces a problem of loitering livestock. According to the survey, 93% of the respondents said they had seen livestock loitering in the town in the past six months. Respondents said the animals seen are goats (80%), sheep (27%), cattle (20%), hens (13%) and dogs (7%). Relatedly, 93% of the respondents had noticed overgrown grass and the grass maintenance levels were rated as poor, thus a score 3.7/10.
When it comes to noise, 7% think there was a noise control programme. The majority of respondents (53%) felt the town was moderately noisy. The noise was mainly
caused by motor vehicles (33%), bodaboda riders (27%), prayers (13%) and video halls (7%).
Authorities are implementing a structural plan and residents appreciate the need for physical Charles Ouma, the town clerk planning in the town. However, they feel things are moving at a snail’s pace. Most of the roads are mainly murram (73%) and levelled ground (27%). Many people said the roads have many potholes. They also said the majority of the buildings (93%) have old paint. Authorities blame the unpleasant state of affairs to a small budget
A chat with THE TOWN CLERK
trueAccording to Charles Ouma, the Central Government funds over 90% of the budget, which is estimated at sh543m for the current fi nancial year. “We allocated sh91m to the health and environment sector under which sanitation is catered for,” he said. He also decried the poor road network. “Many businessmen bring merchandise regularly from the border at Busia and the presence of good roads would help them greatly.
Dust from the roads also soils goods on display in shops,” he noted. Ouma said some residents violate the council’s regulations and keep domestic animals. “These animals litter the streets. Their owners let them loose under the cover of darkness. We have made several appeals to them in vain. The law shall be applied against errant residents,” he warned
Rubirizi scored on clean water, but...
BY JOHN MASABA
When you approach Rubirizi from the smooth Bushenyi-Kasese highway, the impression you get is of a thriving town. However, not everything in Rubirizi is smooth. At least, going by its hygiene and sanitation. According a Vision Group survey done between August and September, the authorities have a lot on their plate if the town is to live to its billing as a town council. Previously known as Bunyaruguru, the town acquired the name Rubirizi after it was carved out of Bushenyi district in 2010. There were big dreams from residents, but three years later, Rubirizi is yet to put in place the necessary infrastructure required of a town council. There is no physical structure plan, developers are continuously putting up structures everyday.
When it comes to access to clean water, Rubirizi could be the envy of many towns. According to the findings, most respondents (52%) have access to piped water. The public tap is the main source of water (64%). Other sources are springs, wells and boreholes. The majority of residents said they think the water from the taps is clean. You are more likely to see more animals roaming the street than anywhere else in the country. Most respondents (93%) had ever seen animals loitering in the town in the past six months.
The animals seen are goats (71%), cows (29%), pigs (14%) and sheep (7%). The majority of the respondents (64%) felt that Rubirizi was noisy. No respondent believed there was a noise control programme. The noise was mainly caused by motor vehicles (50%), taxi touts (36%), bodaboda riders (21%) and prayers (7%). Overall, respondents rated the town at 5.6/10 on overgrown grass. Sixty four percent of the respondents had noticed overgrown grass. Another area that did not fair well is the public latrines or toilets.
In Rubirizi, human waste is managed through septic tanks and pit-latrines and there is 0% connection to the central sewer system. sewage bursts and non had seen a public toilet or pit-latrine in the town. kerosene for light From the survey, grid electricity (36%) makes up the smallest portion of the lighting needs of residents. Most of the respondents (57%), said kerosene lamps are the main source of lighting. Although no respondent had ever seen street lights, they said the streets were safe at night (64%). Most roads are levelled ground (93%), with a few potholes (4.1/10).
Most of the buildings (87%) have old paint. sensitisation the way to go The survey also showed that most residents are not satisfied with the cleanliness of their town. Although the majority of respondents (86%) said there was a cleaning exercise, the general perception about the level of cleanliness is that it does not befit the council status. Cleanliness of the town and market areas was rated at only 4.6/10. Streets and roads were rated at 4.4/10.
There is no planned cleaning programme. The town had few dustbins. Although all respondents said they had ever seen dustbins, they noted that they were not enough, thus a score of 0.1/10. The majority of respondents (79%) said it was not easy to locate a dustbin. A few dustbins were seen along the streets (64%) and market areas (29%). When asked if they have ever seen someone litter the town in the last three months, 86% said they had.
Overall, most respondents said the town was clean (71%). Some respondents (25%) said residents should personally avoid littering. Another 25% believe taking part in the cleaning exercise is the way to go, while 6% advocated for avoiding activities like burning.
Most respondents think sensitising the public would improve hygiene in Rubirizi town
Town clerk speaks out on state of town
“Most people think everything must be done by the town council since they pay taxes,” the town clerk, Frederick Mugabe, said. “We have four garbage skips, but some people do not know how to use them, especially when it comes to sorting garbage. We want to begin sorting it at household level since we have a tractor to transport it,” he added. He said the council has passed bylaws on hygiene and sanitation.
The town generates a lot of garbage, but has no dumping site. Mugabe said they are planning to buy land for a dumping site and want about sh40m to develop a physical plan.“We may not realise the physical plan unless the Central Government supports us,” he said
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Namayingo struggling to quench residents’ thirst