In 2010, its leaders made a good case, convincing the Gov''t that Agago had what it takes to be given town council status.
trueIn 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 a gala night, where the cleanest towns will be recognised. Today, we profile Agago town council.
By John Masaba
In 2010, its leaders made a good case, convincing the Government that Agago had what it takes to be given town council status. And on July 1, 2010, their wish was granted. Agago joined the ranks of well-established towns like Gulu, Kitgum and Moroto.
However, if this was a precursor of better things to come, residents in the town are yet to see them. Facts on ground show that the town council is struggling to make things work.
Results from the Vision Group poll on the sanitation situation in major urban centres in the country, indicate that the town is still playing catch-up.
Agago district was carved out of Pader district. It is located approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles) by road, southeast of Kitgum. From Kampala, it will take you six hours to cover the 428kms distance
The survey carried out between August and September showed that while residents were positive about their town, there are a lot of unresolved issues concerning cleanliness and hygiene.
Although there is a cleaning schedule, most residents were unsatisfied with the cleanliness of the town, market areas, streets or roads and dustbins. Respondents voted the market areas as being very dirty.
Only one respondent had ever seen a dustbin in the town
The results show that there are few dustbins and garbage bunkers. It is no surprise that only one respondent had ever seen a dustbin in the town, by a roadside, hence a rating of 0.5/10. As a result of the unavailability of dustbins.locals have taken to dumping rubbish on streets and roads with reckless abandon.
According to the survey, the majority of respondents (80%) said they had ever seen someone litter and they considered the town to be polluted.
The situation is worsened by loitering animals, especially during the day. The majority of respondents (86.7%) said they had ever seen animals loitering in the town. The commonly seen animals were cattle (86.7%). Perhaps many of the animals are enticed by the poorly-maintained lawns and overgrown flower gardens.
The findings show that all the respondents had observed overgrown grass in the past six months and maintenance of the grass was relatively poor, hence a score of 4.7/10.
When asked what they had ever done to improve the state of affairs, the majority of respondents (80%) said they did nothing. This means residents do not have a sense of collective responsibility to keep their town clean.
Roads, latrines and noise
The findings showed there were no sewage channel systems in the town. As a result, the main means of disposal of human waste are pit-latrines, mainly VIP latrines or traditional pit-latrines.
A sizeable number of respondents (46.7%) had ever seen public toilets in the town. But while public toilets were reported to be available, not much effort goes into looking after them, according to the findings.
Most respondents said the latrines were very dirty as indicated by an average score of 0.8/10. You do not want to be on the streets when nightfall comes to Agago town.
This is because the town has no street lights. Perhaps authorities do not think installation of street lights is a priority. In spite of this, grid electricity and solar are the main sources of lighting. As a result, residents think the town is unsafe, especially at night.
Most roads are either murram or levelled ground and less than half of the buildings in the town are newly-painted. The borehole is the main source of water. Residents said the water flow was regular and clean, giving it a 7.2 score.
Most respondents (53.3%) said there was no noise control programme in the town. Contributors of noise are bodaboda riders, bars or night clubs and music from shops. In spite of the fact that there was no noise control programme, the majority of respondents think noise is not a big problem.
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
Agago sleeps with dusk