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Buyende: A jungle town trying to get on its feet

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th October 2013 12:46 PM

Despite the sprouting of new shops, the existence of dilapidated structures has made Buyende town remain an eyesore

Buyende: A jungle town trying to get on its feet

Despite the sprouting of new shops, the existence of dilapidated structures has made Buyende town remain an eyesore

By Watuwa Timbiti and Tom Gwebayanga
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 towards the end of November .Today, we bring you profiles of Buyende and Kaberamaido towns


Despite the sprouting of new shops, the existence of dilapidated structures has made Buyende town remain an eyesore. The mayor, Henry Mayengo said Buyende derived its name from the pioneer settler in the area, Omulangira (Prince) Nyende, a popular chief.

The name lives on long after his death. Buyende got its town council status in 2010 after it was carved out of Kamuli. The town has been dubbed “the jungle town council” as a result of the thick forests habited by monkeys, baboons and other wild animals.

Although this town, with a population of the 26,039 is reported to have a cleaning schedule, the residents are dissatisfied with its cleanliness. In a survey done by Vision Group between August and September, all the respondents have seen dustbins, most of them belonging to individuals. However, according to the survey, the dustbins are not only insufficient, but are also difficult to locate.

Buyende town, which comprises four primary schools, four secondary schools and two health centres, has low level of sanitation awareness. For instance, all the respondents have seen someone litter rubbish in the town in the past three months and they say pollution is high. Still, only 47% of the respondents have avoided littering, 33% have taken part in the clean-up exercise of the town, and 13% avoided pollution activities like burning.

Buyende district is popularly known as Busoga’s cattle corridor and so town residents double as farmers and traders. The district depends on kerosene lamps for lighting, according to 80% of the respondents. Despite being the region’s cattle corridor, the town has a poor road network. For instance, 80% of the roads are murram and 20% levelled ground. Most of the buildings have old paint.

For water, the town depends on mainly the borehole and residents reported it to be unclean. The town clerk, Paul Mbiiwa says the town has 22 boreholes, adding that piped water is in the offing and three deep wells to be powered by generators have been drilled at Kinambogo, Nakabira and Buyende wards. The sh2.5b, which is funded by the Ministry of Water ministry will be completed by the close of the 2015-2016 financial year.

Most latrines are in a sorry state

Town lacks sanitation facilities

Buyende town has no central sewer system, thus no cases of sewage bursts and no respondent knows of a public toilet in Buyende. Mbiiwa says the latrine coverage in the town needs to be addressed. “The latrine coverage is alarming because people think Buyende is still a village.

They construct houses without plans and do not consult on sites, which is risky,” he says. Loitering animals and poultry are equally a challenge in the town, according to the survey. For instance, 87% of the respondents have seen animals loitering in the town. Although Buyende is said to be the business hub of Busoga, there is no public toilet save for the few pit latrines in the homesteads. Mbiiwa said service delivery is not be effective because of the vast area of jurisdiction.


  •  Henry Mayengo said the people are yet to adopt to urban lifestyle. More so, there is no electricity, no piped water and other facilities that would otherwise improve the level of development of the town.


Bad attitude killing Kaberamaido

By Timbiti Watuwa and Michael Onyinge
Kaberamaido, according to David Obong, the mayor of the town council, became popular in the 1920s as a resting place for cattle traders to central Uganda. It derives its name, which means a good place for groundnuts, from traders who had gone for water at Ararak well and saw groundnuts growing on a tree trunk. But how is the town, which was granted a town board status in 1965 and a town council in 2001 upon the creation of Kaberamaido district doing on sanitation?

In a recent survey done by Vision Group, residents said they are averagely satisfied with the town’s cleanliness, although it does not have enough dustbins.

For instance, a high percentage (80%) of the respondents said dustbins in the town are insufficient. The level of sanitation awareness in the town is still low. In the survey, 60% of the respondents reported having seen someone litter the town in the past three months.

Kaberamaido’s main street. Photos by Michael Onyinge

Only fraction of the respondents said they have contributed towards improving the town’s cleanliness. Only 5% have avoided littering and just 31% have taken part in the clean up exercises of the town. A mere 18% of the respondents have sensitised people about hygiene and 38% have not done anything to improve the cleanliness of the town.

The town clerk, Peter Erisu, blames the town’s sanitation woes on the negative attitude of the residents. “Funding is another problem. Of the over sh400m budget this financial year, only 5% is committed to garbage management.

Two women have been contracted to sweep key areas of the town and a man to collect all the garbage that is not disposed of in the dumping site every morning. With an estimated population of 10,000, the town has two private secondary and government-aided primary schools.

It also has three health centres, but struggling with a poor road network. The town, which depends on clean and regular piped water (93%), has no noise control programme, but considered moderately noisy, with boda bodas the most culpable followed by taxi conductors/drivers.

The town is battling with stray animals, which are a threat to sanitation efforts. The survey states that 93% of the respondents, have seen livestock/poultry loitering in the town loitering in the past six months. Erisu says using the Public Health Act, they have tried to deter animal ownersand this is straining the relationship with residents.

“This is bringing a lot of friction between us and those who want to insist on keeping animals within the town, which is against the law,” Erisu says.

The town on the other hand has no cases of sewage bursts since it has no central sewerage system. Although 93% of the respondents know where the public toilets are, they are relatively dirty. Overgrown grass is common, according to 87% of the respondents. Erisu partly blames residents for farming in the town and failing to stick to horticulture and other town growing crops.

Most people dump rubbish outside the bunker


Grading has started

The mayor says sanitation is a priority, arguing that a clean town attracts investors and other development agents. He says the law enforcement officers help to control people from dumping garbage anyhow in the town. Most of the roads are murram or levelled ground but have many potholes. This, according to the mayor, is being addressed


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Buyende: A jungle town trying to get on its feet

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