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Lamwo lacks technical officers

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th October 2013 12:00 PM

In the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group will be rofiling major urban centres in the country, highlighting their sanitation situation, culminating into a gala night on November 25, where the cleanest towns will be recognised. Today, we bring you profiles of Lamwo and Kiira towns

Lamwo lacks technical officers

In the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group will be rofiling major urban centres in the country, highlighting their sanitation situation, culminating into a gala night on November 25, where the cleanest towns will be recognised. Today, we bring you profiles of Lamwo and Kiira towns

trueIn the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group will be rofiling major urban centres in the country, highlighting their sanitation situation, culminating into a gala night on November 25, where the cleanest towns will be recognised. Today, we bring you profiles of Lamwo and Kiira towns

By Watuwa Timbiti and Wokorach -Oboi

Whereas  the  notion  of  a  town brings into mind an organised settlement with development as an underlying good in terms of social  service  delivery,  Lamwo town seems to exist just in name.

Observably, there is more of elephant grass, bamboo  trees  and  other  natural  physical  features  in  the  town  than  service-oriented  infrastructure and other relevant buildings.

Similarly, the town’s suffocation under overgrown  grass  is  best  reflected  in  the  findings of a Vision Group survey; for instance, all respondents report noticing overgrown grass in the town, with very poor maintenance levels.

Despite that, the town with an estimated population of 13,000 is said to be clean; majority of respondents say it has a cleaning programme and they are satisfied with its cleanliness.

For  full  cleanliness  in  Lamwo,  which  got district  status  in  2010  after  it  was  carved  out of  Kitgum,  distribution  of  dustbins  has  to  be widened;  the  survey  reports  that  whereas  all respondents  acknowledge  seeing  dustbins  in the town, they are limited to streets and market areas, thus insufficient in serving the residents.

Similarly, people must be sensitised and engaged in sanitation drives to ensure considering that a high proportion of the respondents (64%) have done nothing to improve the town’s cleanliness and a lower proportion (29%), have avoided littering.


The  town  clerk,  Alfred  Onen  Elkana,  says residents  have  been  advised  to  observe  both personal and communal hygiene practices, for instance, residents and traders are required to have dustbins in their homes and shops.

Additionally, he says the challenge is attitudebased; for instance, although there is a tractor to collect rubbish twice a week, residents do not value the idea of keeping the town clean.

trueWith a bylaw on latrines coming, certainly the town,  which  has  no  central  sewerage  system and thus no sewer bursts, will have its public toilet improved and widely spread.

The survey, for instance, reports that less than half of the respondents are aware of public toilets which are said to be very dirty. The bushes, field, street and alleys are widely used as places of convenience.

Lack of proper toilet facilities has been a challenge in the town for some time. It is said when the town and district staff first shifted to the current site about two years ago from Padibe town council, where their headquarters were temporarily based, they had no latrine. (In snapshot is the mayor's office)

The staff and visitors reportedly dashed over 4km away to Olebi or the nearby Lokung subcounty headquarters for relief in the latrine facilities there.
Onen, however, says the issue has now been solved: “We now have a four-stanza latrine at the  district  headquarters  for  staff  and  visitors.
The  completed  RDC’s  office  block  also  has  a toilet system.”

Evidently  the  allocation  on  sanitation  is  insignificant  and  thus  can  do  little  to  make  an impact since the unconditional grant from the central government for this financial year is just sh63.8m.

Top on agenda:

Road works and water supply
The town clerk, Alfred Onen, attributes the town’s woes to the absence of a physical planner, environmental officer, health inspector, among others, who are technical persons in sanitation and organised development.

However,  there  is  hope;  with  funding  from the  central  government  under  the  Road  Funds, the  town  council  recently  opened  up  13  roads (9.4km).

Cement deposits discovered

  • Despite the town’s shortfalls, authoritiesare optimistic that the discovery of cement deposits at Lalak Hills and its eventual exploitation will lead to an influx of people in the town and subsequently increase crossborder trade with South Sudan.

Although there is piped water in the town, residents depend on wells and borehole water which is said to be clean.

Onen said the town authorities are in their fiveyear development plan, planning to pump water from  the  nearby  Cam-kul  Dam  for  safe  water,
adding  that  in  case  of  population  growth,  supplementary water will be got from Ateng River.

The town has three primary schools and a private technical school. It also has Lokung Health Centre  III  and  a  private  clinic  in  Olebi  trading centre.


The mayor, Bodmas Ocaya, says there are plans to pass a bylaw on sanitation in the next council meeting. The bylaw will require every homestead to have basic sanitation facilities like latrines, drying rack, rubbish pits and bath shelters as a way to promote good hygiene practices


Kiira overwhelmed

Population pressure suffocating sanitation facilities

Not only is it the largest town council in the country, but it is also one of the most populated. It houses most people who work in Kampala city.

By Watuwa Timbiti and Andrew Masinde

Kiira  is  said  to  be  the largest  town  council in  Uganda,  with  a
population  estimated at  179,800  in  2011, Uganda  Bureau  of  Statistics (UBOS).  However,  the  town planner said the population was
estimated at 300,000 in 2012.

Such  a  high  population is  attributed  to  the  town’s proximity to the city, serving as a  residential  area  for  most  city workers.  The  place  has  huge sanitation challenges.


Busy road in Kiira. Photos by Esther Namirimu

Kiira  which  is  bordered  by Gayaza  to  the  north,  Mukono town  to  the  east,  Lake  Victoria to the south, the city of Kampala to  the  west  and  Kasangati to  the  north-west,  is  faced with  inadequacies  in  garbage management.

Although,  the  residents are  satisfied  with  the  town’s cleanliness,  respondents,  do not know of cleaning schedules. They, however, said the status of dustbins is wanting.

The survey, for instance, cites only  10%  of  the  respondents as  having  seen  dustbins  in  the town and the ones available are not  only  difficult  to  locate,  but majority  of   the  respondents (93%) believe that it is equally a health threat considering that they are insufficient and dirty.

Similarly, the town’s sanitation seems to be suffocated by high levels of littering, for instance, a high percentage (62%) has seen someone  throw  rubbish  in  the town  in  the  past  three  months,with only 20% and 10% having taken part in cleaning exercises and avoided pollution activities, respectively.

This calls for more sensitisation of  the  residents  by  the  town authorities  on  the  need  to prioritise sanitation. In cases where sewage bursts have  emerged,  there  has  been slow response to fix the problem. This  is  worse  in  light  of  the
fact that the town, which has a population of 300,000, has only one  senior  health  inspector, two  health  assistants,  one
physical  planner  and  only  41% of the respondents acknowledge existence of public toilets in the town.

According  to  the  survey,  bushes,  fields,  streets,  alleys are  commonly  used  as  places of  convenience,  which  poses  a health risk.
The  town,  which  comprises over  100  elementary  schools and over 60 secondary schools, depends  on  the  national
electricity (86%), a marginal 7% of the respondents acknowledge existence  of  street  lights  in working condition.

The  town,  which  is  home  to the martyrs’ shrines has partially tarmacked  roads,  according to  62%  of  the  respondents.
Sebadduka says the roads have been  improving  over  time,  for instance, in 2006, there were a total of 220km of road network in  the  town  and  only  9.4km (4.3%)  were  tarmacked.  He says the acquisition of a tractorgrader costing about $300,000,

in 2009, helped. Between 2006 and 2009 45km were tarmacked.


Logistical constraints

trueUthman  Sebadduka,  the  town  clerk, acknowledges the sanitaion challenge and partly  blames  it  on  logistical  inadequacy, saying efforts are underway to improve the situation.

“Efforts are underway to obtain garbage trucks and waste disposal bins and skips as the town only has three garbage collecting truck that are not enough for the increasing population.”

Sebadduka says the town which has five public  health  centres  and  many  private ones, has also acquired five acres of land to construct a modern waste management facility.

“The  municipality  welcomes  willing stakeholders  who  can  partner  with  the town  to  build  a  safe  and  environmentally
friendly  garbage  disposal  system  for  the town,” he reveals.


Lamwo lacks technical officers

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