Surrounded by two major water bodies, Amolatar is one of the youngest towns in Uganda. Today we draw our attention to it.
trueIn the Make Uganda Clean campaign, Vision Group is profiling 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 the profile of Amolatar town council.
By John Masaba
Amolatar is one of the youngest towns in Uganda. It is surrounded by two major water bodies — Lake Kyoga in the south and west, and Lake Kwania in the north and east.
It is estimated to have a population of 14,800 people, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2011).
Amolatar which was carved out of Lira district, gained a town council status in 2005. But eight years later, there is little development.
According to the Vision Group survey dubbed, Making Uganda Clean, a lot has to be done to improve the sanitation situation of the town.
According to the survey, most residents are dissatisfied with the cleanliness of the town. It is no surprise that they rated it at 2.9/10. Forty percent had ever seen someone litter the streets or roads and 86.7% considered the town polluted.
The markets and streets are littered with rubbish, and people have poor garbage disposal habits. When asked whether they had ever seen dustbins in the town, 53.3% of the respondents said they had, especially in the market.
However, they said the dustbins were few, thus a 0.5/10 score. Respondents indicated that there is need to put in place a robust cleaning schedule in order to rid the town of garbage.
Unclean water, crime
The town has no piped water. The main sources of water are boreholes and wells.
According to the survey, residents rated boreholes as regular and dependable sources of water (7/710). However, they rated them at only 4.4/10 in providing clean water. The people are not comfortable drinking borehole water.
The survey also showed that the streets are not safe at night. Forty percent of the respondents attributed this to the absence of street lights.
Although solar is the main source of power by slightly more than half of the respondents (53.3%) and grid electricity (20.0%), there are not enough street lights.
Some respondents said the authorities were reluctant to put the lights in place. This perhaps explains the high crime rate in the town. The most recorded crimes were assault (46.7%), vandalising cars (26.7%), robbery with violence (20.0%) and burglary (6.7%).
Most roads are murram or levelled ground with many potholes. Most respondents reported that nearly half of the buildings were newly-painted.
Since there is no main sewerage system, no respondent had ever seen sewage bursts in the town. This is because most residents use pit-latrines.
The survey revealed that awareness about public toilets was quite good. According to findings, 66.7% of the respondents were aware of public toilets in
the town, which included the VIP pit-latrine (66.7%), traditional pit-latrine (60.0%) and flush toilet (46.7%). But in spite of this awareness, public toilets were rated poorly (2.9/10). On average, the cost of access to a public toilet is sh125.
Like many rural towns, Amolatar is not an exception to the problem of loitering animals. Most respondents (73.35%) had ever seen animals loitering in the streets. The animals seen were cattle and goats (73.3%), sheep (40.0%), hens (20.0%) and dogs (6.7%).
Relatedly, all respondents said they had ever seen overgrown grass in the town. It is no surprise that the respondents rated maintenance of lawns and public gardens at 1.1/10.
On noise control, 40% of the respondents thought there was a noise control programme in the town. The sources of noise according to respondents include bodaboda riders (all respondents), motor vehicles (73.3%), taxi touts (73.3%) and prayers (40.0%).
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
Amolatar’s eight years of slumber