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Kanungu; western Uganda’s eyesore

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th November 2013 06:24 PM

Today, we bring you the profile of Kanungu town .Kanungu could easily be one of the progressive towns in western Uganda

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Today, we bring you the profile of Kanungu town .Kanungu could easily be one of the progressive towns in western Uganda

By Stephen Ssenkaaba

trueIn 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 the profile of Kanungu town .Kanungu could easily be one of the progressive towns in western Uganda. The town council lies in Kanungu district; bordered by Rukungiri district to the north and east, Kabale district to the southeast, Kisoro district to the southwest and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The town is located approximately 60km by road, northwest of Kabale, the largest town in the sub-region.

It is about 420km by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. With its powerful connections and fairly successful sons and daughters, this lovely town should have more going for it. Hardly. The town council is yet to recover from some telling characteristics of underdevelopment.

Bad roads, rubbish, poor public toilets and stray animals dog the town. A recent Vision Group survey indicates that this town shares each of the above features in considerable abundance. The poll that tested the views of different people in the town indicates growing frustration of concerned residents at the state of sanitation in this town. While all the respondents reported the existence of a cleaning schedule for their town, on the overall, they are only averagely satisfied with cleanliness here, especially of the market areas, streets and roads and waste bins.

Eighty two percent of the respondents said dustbins in the town are not sufficient. Most dustbins were spotted around private premises and shops, meaning that public places here need more dustbins. As such, littering continues to be a big problem in this town. In fact, 77% of the respondents said they had ever seen someone litter in the town in the past three months. This makes sense because, as the survey indicates, public dustbins are not abundantly available in this town. There are only two public dustbins.

trueThere is a garbage fill about one kilometre from town, where garbage collected by the authority is dumped. This is not sufficient for a town of 15,900 people (as per the Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2012 abstract). One of the problems affecting Kanungu town is inadequate public toilets. Only 12% of the respondents were aware of public toilets in the town.

Our survey indicates that there are only three public toilets for all 15,900 people. An additional 38% mentioned bush/field/street/ alleys as the other form of “toilet” here. In places where they exist, public toilets were very dirty, perhaps because they are free to access and, therefore, not well-regulated. Overgrown grass in the town is prevalent as 50% of the respondents reported seeing much bush around town with low maintenance. It is also common to see domestic animals loitering in the town.

This has greatly affected cleanliness in Kanungu. Twenty-nine percent of the respondents in the poll said they had ever seen livestock loitering in the town over the past six months. The animals include cows and goats. No respondent had ever seen sewage bursts in the town. Even then, some residents have access to piped water, but many still rely on boreholes and shallow streams.

Even though grid electricity exists in Kanungu town, no respondent had ever seen functional street lights there. Majority of the roads are either mainly murram or partially tarmacked. Moreover, there are many potholes. Majority of the buildings also have old paint.

Seventy-seven percent of the respondents felt that Kanungu town was noisy. The commonest sources of noise here are boda boda riders, Prayers, traders and motor vehicles. The town has one planner, a health inspector, one engineer and one environmental officer. It has neither a lands officer nor education officer. There is a lot that needs to be done.

Kanungu; western Uganda’s eyesore

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