By John Kasozi
NAKIVUBO Wetland, the main drainage channel for central Kampala, is the most polluted of all the surface water systems draining towards Lake Victoria, a Sanitation Strategy and Master Plan report for Kampala city, has revealed.
â€œThe report indicates that four tonnes of organic material are washed down to the lake per day,â€ B.P. Twesigye, an official of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) said recently.
Kampala is estimated to have 181,300 households. The current sanitation coverage by NWSC is 9%. For that reason, only 20km2 of greater Kampalaâ€™s 300km2 has waterborne sewerage system.
The report further SAYS 5% of the households are served by on-site septic tanks, 12% Ventilated Improved Pit latrines, 72% share ordinary pit latrines while 2% have no access to any sanitation facility.
Kampala city is built on steep sloping hills separated by valleys of varying gradients. This makes the collection of sewage to a single treatment plant very difficult, the report says.
â€œSewage effluents delivered to the plant are at times toxic and acidic. At the in-let, large solid objects, rags, foetus, medical cotton wastes and polythene sheets are removed for disposal,â€ says Everest Okwerede of NWSC.
Although nutrients, phosphate and nitrogen compounds are routinely monitored their removal is low. The plant cannot do it and the wetland acts as a natural purifier.