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
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.
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