Iganga town for change, Nakawa residents happy

By Vision Reporter

In the ongoing Make Uganda Clean campaign, we present to you Iganga town and Nakawa Division in Kampala. Check out the two.

In 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 profiles of Iganga and Nakawa Division in Kampala.


For long, Iganga town has been synonymous with buildings with old ironsheets, which dot the main road. Many of the buildings were erected by Indian settlers around 1918.

Iganga, which attained municipal status in 2010, has steadily neutralised the old buildings by pushing owners to paint them, in addition to encouraging their replacement with storeyed structures. Currently, only about 18 iron-sheet structures are still standing.

For organised development to be achieved, which the mayor, Siraji Katono, wishes for, there should be a high level of cleanliness and sanitation, but how is Iganga town faring on this front?

How clean is Iganga?

According to a survey carried out by Saturday Vision, the town is not impressive in terms of cleanliness and more needs to be done. The survey involved 45 respondents, comprising 22 males and 23 females, with an average age of 31 years.

Although there is a cleaning schedule for the town (64%), roads/streets (64%), market areas (76%) and dustbins (67%), overall, residents are unsatisfied with the town’s cleanliness, scoring less than average (4.6/10).

In addition, the score on streets/roads and market areas was less than average, at 4.4/10 and 4.1/10, respectively, with waste bins having the poorest score of 3.9/10.

The town’s garbage management, according to the respondents, is still ineffective. Just slightly more than half (51%) of the respondents have ever seen dust-bins in the municipality and they are considered insufficient and dirty, getting a score of 3.3/10 and 3.9/10, respectively.

Worse still, the town’s dust-bin distribution is still wanting, going by the percentage distribution of only 27% on the streets/roadsides, 24% in market areas and a high proportion of the respondents (74%) say it is either not easy to locate a dustbin, or never knew where to find one.

Residents' contribution

On the other hand, as the survey indicates, residents have done little to promote the town’s sanitation.

For instance, slightly more than half (51%) have seen someone litter rubbish in the municipality in the past three months.

Additionally, 58% of the respondents rate the town at least polluted, while less than half (33%) reported avoiding littering and only an insignificant 2% have taken part in the exercise to clean up the town.

Still, a marginal proportion (13%) avoid pollution activities like burning and 16% have sensitised people about living in a clean environment.

About 36% of the respondents had done nothing to improve the town’s cleanliness.

Akamu Sizomu, the northern division chairman, disclosed that council effectively collected only 50% of the garbage that littered the streets on a daily basis.

“Members of the Uganda Youth Platform have saved the situation by using the garbage to make charcoal briquettes,” Sizomu says.


Lighting is also not at its best. For instance, whereas grid electricity is reported by 98% of the respondents as the main source of light, less half (42%) have ever seen street lights in a working condition in the municipality.

Of these, 9% say they have ever seen all the lights in working condition, 11% say they have ever seen more than half of the lights in working condition and 22% said less than half are functional.

Additionally, 44% of the respondents said street lights were available, but not working at all and 13% had never seen the street lights at all. Slightly more than half (51%) consider the streets unsafe at night, about 38% consider them not safe and 11% do not know.

The majority of the buildings (64%) in the town have old paint.

The road network is also not developed. The roads, according to the survey, are mainly murram (31%), partially tarmacked (29%) or levelled ground (27%) and lastly, 13% are mainly tarmacked, with few potholes, attracting a poor score of 3.9/10.

Iganga Main Street has both new and old structures. PHOTO/George Bita

Water distribution

Iganga is doing well as far as water is concerned. Piped water is the main source of water into residences (67%) or public tap (9%) and the distribution of water is regular on average (6.6/10), although the water is not clean, taking a score of 4.6/10.

Noise pollution

Although 29% of respondents say there is a noise control programme in the municipality, more than half (57%) feel the municipality is noisy, attributing the problem mainly to motor vehicles (64%), bodaboda riders (58%) and taxi conductors/drivers (58%).


The town also scores poorly (3.1/10) on loitering animals and poultry. For instance, 31% of the residents had seen livestock or poultry loitering in the town in the past six months.

The animals seen include goats (24%), cows (7%), sheep (4%), hens (4%), cats (2%) and dogs (25). With such a presence of animals, attaining good sanitation might not be easy.

Sewage management is also a challenge in the town. More than half of the respondents (64%) have ever seen sewage bursts in town, but with a slow response in fixing them, earning the town a less than average score of 4.3/10.

There seems to be a wide presence of public toilets in the town, which are accessed at an average cost of sh200. For instance, 91% of respondents acknowledged awareness of the existence of the flush toilets, VIP pit-latrines (50%), traditional pit-latrines (30%), bush/field/street/corridors (18%) and movable plastic pit-latrines (5%).

However, respondents said the toilets were dirty, attracting a less than half score of 4.4/10.

Dr. David Muwanguzi, the district director of health services, partly blames the problem on the owners of the old iron-sheet buildings, which do not have sufficient latrine facilities.

“The toilets in most of those buildings are non-functional, prompting residents to deposit their excreta in polythene bags, which they throw everywhere,” Muwanguzi narrates.

He added that latrine coverage in the town was about 46%, which is poor, contravening good sanitary practices.


The town’s grass maintenance needs to be improved. Whereas less than half (33%) of the respondents have ever noticed grown grass, maintenance levels are rated as slightly below average, scoring 4.5/10.

Crime prevalence

Low prevalence was recorded. For instance, although assault, rape and murder are the lead crimes, only 29% of the respondents report having been subjected to a form of crime in the town.

Economic activites

Most residents mainly operate retail shopping outlets or deal in foodstuffs.

The town has six secondary schools, 12 primary schools, one major hospital and several health centres.

To improve service delivery, the authorities are working to improve the collection of revenue. Therefore, Katono says they plan to end the collection of taxes in form of cash.

“We have opened bank accounts, where tax-payers should put the money and bring us bank- slips. This will fight misappropriation of the taxes” he says.

A chat with mayor Siraj Katono

“Our plan is to have all archaic buildings razed and replaced with storeyed shopping complexes,” Katono says. This, he argues, will ensure orderly development and maximise the use of space.

He warns that non-compliance will result in forceful demolition or force them to declare the plots vacant and hand them over to the district land board for reallocation to prospective developers. He dismissed rumours that the move was aimed at grabbing people’s land.

Why is Iganga town dirty?

  • Garbage collection was recently hindered when court bailiffs seized the council truck that collects garbage, demanding sh30m in legal fees, Katono explained.
  • Last month, council parted with sh19m to secure the garbage truck that had been taken by court bailiffs to Jinja,” Katono disclosed.
  • The sh220m allocated to sanitation out of a sh5b budget for this financial year, is too little.
  • Only 2% of respondents have taken part in the exercise to clean up the town




Despite popular satisfaction with the general cleanliness of the division, garbage is littered in some areas.

Residents of Nakawa, one of the five divisions of Kampala have expressed satisfaction with its cleanliness, according to a Saturday Vision survey.

The survey, which involved 29 respondents, with an average of 33 years, comprised 15 male (51.7%) and 14 females.

According to the survey, more than half of the respondents (62%) reported that cleaning of trading centres in Nakawa division is done everyday and that respondents are very satisfied with the cleanliness of the centres and the streets/roads. However, they said they were less satisfied with the market areas and the dustbins.

On the other hand, 80% of the respondents acknowledged that the division has a cleaning schedule for the town and the roads/streets, with nearly 60% acknowledging the existence of the schedule for markets and dustbins.

However, the authorities have to improve the distribution of the dustbins if maximum cleanliness is to be realised. For instance, just slightly more than half (51.7%) of the respondents have seen dustbins in the division and the number is insufficient, attracting an average score of 2.8/10.

Similarly, littering of rubbish could be one of the challenges affecting sanitation. A high proportion (72.4%) of respondents have seen rubbish in the town, although a higher percentage believe the division is clean.

Most of the buildings have old paint, but Nakawa’s road network is relatively good. According to the survey, most roads are either partially tarmacked or mainly tarmacked, with a few pot-holes, earning the division a more than half score of 6.1/10.

Water supply

According to the survey, water supply is not a problem. Piped water is the main source of water in Nakawa. Its supply is regular and the water is clean, earning the division high scores of 7.1/10 for supply and 8.6/10 for cleanliness.

Street lighting

Although grid electricity is the main source of lighting, the street lights are not entirely effective, meaning the authorities have to do more. For instance, only 58.6% of the respondents had ever seen street lights in working condition, with 41.4% reporting that less than half of the street lights are functional.

Noise pollution

Being a densely populated area, noise pollution is a challenge in the division.

According to the survey, slightly less than half (48%) of the respondents believed Nakawa is noisy, attributing the problem to motor vehicles, taxi conductors/drivers, bodaboda riders, traders and welders.


A low presence of loitering livestock/poultry was noted, with only 28% of respondents saying they had ever seen livestock loitering in the division. The animals seen include goats (28%), cows (21%) and hens (3%).

Sewage bursts are a challenge in the division. Slightly less than half (48.3%) of the respondents have ever experienced sewage bursts in the town and 41.4% have seen open soak pits or manholes. Worse still, the response to fix the problem is said to be very slow, earning a poor average score of 2.3/10.

The division scored highly on the state of public toilets. A high proportion (79.3%) are aware of the existence of public toilets in Nakawa, flush toilets at 69.0%, VIP pit-latrines at 44.8%, traditional pit-latrines at 27.6% and the bush/field/streets/corridors at 20.7%.

In addition, the toilets, which are accessible at an average cost of sh200, are said to be relatively clean, earning a more than half score of 5.5/10.


Nakawa scored highly where maintenance of grass and the gardens in the division are concerned.


The most common crimes reported in the area are theft with no violence, burglary of stock items and stealing of motor vehicles.



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Iganga for storeyed buildings, Nakawa residents happy