THE WORLD Bank has given $5.1m (sh9.3b) for the construction of garbage recycling plants in 17 towns and municipalities.
Under the 10-year project, nine plants will be built in the first phase. Districts with massive garbage turnover will be invited to apply for the funding, as long as they can show that the plant would operate all year round, and that they have suitable land to locate the project.
This is a welcome development, as poor disposal of solid waste is becoming a health and environmental hazard in many urban areas.
Kampala City Council will, hopefully, be one of the authorities to apply for the funding, if they are eligible. Kampala is perhaps Ugandaâ€™s most notorious example of poor solid waste management, partly for reasons beyond their control, but also because of ineffective planning.
Because of rapid population increase and the development of new residential areas, the cityâ€™s garbage disposal operation has found itself overwhelmed by sheer volumes.
The old system is no longer operational. Since KCC concessioned out garbage collection to private firms, a basic service, the use of skips has gone missing. KCC used to place skips at strategic places in the business and residential districts, to enable citizens deposit their garbage at designated points. Other than overflow, all garbage would find its way into the skips that would then be carried away by purpose-built trucks.
With no skips - the operation now relies on shovelling refuse onto pick-up/tipper trucks - citizens now deposit garbage wherever it pleases them, with the result that garbage is piling up and rotting all over the place.
KCC needs to think about more effective garbage disposal, and the World Bank scheme offers an opportunity (there is only one garbage dumping ground in the whole city). But well before that, the city authorities need to urgently sort out basic disposal by providing skips for citizens to deposit the solid waste. It will make sense to require the private firms to provide skips as part of their contracts.
Sort out city garbage first