We are a week away from announcing the cleanest town in the Make Uganda Clean campaign. Today''s focus is on Oyam town.
trueIn the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group is profiling major urban centres in the country, highlighting their sanitation situation, with a view to recognise the cleanest towns. The cleanest towns will be announced next Friday, November 29 at the Crested Cranes Hotel in Jinja after the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda’s Annual General Meeting.
By Stephen Ssenkaaba
Oyam town in northern Uganda will one day become modern. But that will depend on how much and how fast its people, especially the leaders, invest in developing the town. true
It is the main municipal, administrative and commercial centre of Oyam district, bordered by Anyeke to the north, Loro to the east, Adiegi to the south, Aber to the southwest and Pamwa to the northwest.
The town is located about 73km by road, west of Lira, the largest town in Lango sub-region. With the about 343km distance from Lira to Kampala, it is about 416km from Oyam to Uganda’s capital by road.
Oyam town is largely accessible by road, despite many roads there being quite bad.
The 2012 Uganda Bureau of Statistics abstract estimates indicate that the town has a population of 15,000 people.
A Vision Group survey conducted from August and September this year and based on the local residents views of their town indicated wanting hygiene standards and a town that is not doing much to get itself clean.
While 93% of the respondents reported the existence of a cleaning schedule for the town, they were generally unsatisfied with the cleanliness of the town.
Of particular concern was the state of markets, streets/roads and waste bins.
Only 7% of the respondents have seen dustbins in the town, adding that the bins were insufficient and dirty. And because of this, 93% of the respondents said it was not easy to locate a dustbin in Oyam town.
It is also because of the inadequate availability of dustbins in the town that 93% of the respondents said they had ever seen someone litter the town in the past three months.
On the overall, Oyam town was reported by the majority as being polluted.
Water is still a big problem here as boreholes serve as the main source of water. To make matters worse, this water supply is irregular.
Oyam town is yet to find a solution to animals that loiter in the town. About 73% of the respondents said they had ever seen livestock/poultry loitering in the town over the past six months. The animals seen include cows, goats and pigs.
In addition to this, the town teems with overgrown grass as 80% of the respondents observed. Despite this, maintenance efforts in the town are very poor.
Seventy-three percent of the respondents consider the town streets unsafe, especially at night. This is mainly because of absence of reliable lighting in the town. Most residents rely on kerosene lamps and other poor lighting methods.
All this, added to the poor road network characterised by murram pothole-filled roads and old buildings, makes Oyam town appear dilapidated and tired.
The town remains noisy. Indeed, not a single respondent believed that there was a noise control programme there. The noise was mainly caused by boda boda riders, motor vehicles, traders, bars/night clubs, music from shops and prayers.
Conditions of toilets
Public toilets in this town are in a bad state. All respondents said public toilets here were averagely clean. And with the cost of access at sh115, many people here cannot afford to use the few public toilets in the town. This means that they use the bushes and alleys in the town.
So after reading that, ofcourse we definitely would like to hear from you
- VOTE for the cleanest town and give reasons
- WHAT should we do to improve Ugandan towns?
- WHAT can you do as an individual to keep your town clean?
SMS: Type clean (leave space) your comment and send to 8338
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Find plenty other stories of the campaign here: Make Uganda Clean campaign articles
Noise is order of the day in Oyam