Entebbe is Uganda''s cleanest town

By Vision Reporter

Entebbe municipality has emerged winner of Vision Group's inaugural clean town competition dubbed Make Uganda Clean.

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trueBy Watuwa Timbiti

Entebbe municipality has emerged winner of Vision Group’s inaugural clean town competition. Entebbe, with a score of 68.7%, led in the survey which rated 122 towns, divisions and municipalities in Uganda on sanitation, cleanliness and hygiene. It was followed by Fort Portal with 65.5% and Jinja, 52.8%.

The research findings were based on perceptions of residents on how clean their towns are. Urban planning experts evaluated the data collected.

Winning towns may not have the highest budgetary allocations on sanitation and hygiene maintenance. This suggests that urban leaders lay a big role in setting the pace for their towns’ cleanliness.

A statue in Entebbe town.

At the bottom end of the score card was Amuru, which emerged as the dirtiest town with a score of 7.6%.

It was followed by Buyende at 7.8% and Lamwor at 9.6%. While, arguably, scarcity of financial resources may play a big role in making an urban habitat dirty, a little more can be done with some innovation, mobilisation and good planning.

Makindye was the cleanest among the five divisions of Kampala with 52.2% and Rubaga was the last with 39.2%.

From a regional perspective, Lira led in the northern region, with 47.8% and Amuru came last with 7.6%. Jinja led the eastern region and Buyende came last with 7.8%. Fort Portal led the western region and Kibaale came last with 19.9%.

In the central region, Entebbe led and Butemba came last with 26.1%. Ranking by town councils saw a surprising Kalangala with 81.2% followed by Kisoro with 80.7% and Kyotera with 73.2%. Lamwor, Buyende and Amuru were the bottom three with 15%, 12.1% and 11.8% respectively.

Struggling with toilets, potholes

By John Semakula

There is a lot to do in all of Uganda’s towns to achieve cleanliness, the Vision Group survey found. The survey aimed at finding the cleanest town in Uganda. Only eight towns scored more than 50%.

The study was based on criteria such as visible cleanliness, toilet use, water quality, presence of green spaces and state of roads.

The survey relied on the perception of residents, who were sampled scientifically using Fisher’s sampling method. The district population was used to proportionally allocate the number of respondents per town.

A total of 122 towns were surveyed and these were 111 district towns, five divisions of Kampala city and six other big towns chosen by their population size. The surprising findings include towns that had no toilets or dustbins, or were using dirty water and had animals roaming the streets.

On the higher end of the scale, many towns impressed with well-tended compounds, gardens, clean toilets, newly-painted structures and community participation.

Poor garbage disposal in Kitgum


Every urban area must plan for and have places of convenience and keep them clean and appealing for residents. Most commendably, the respondents said 63.3% of the toilets in the towns were VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines.

Other types were flush toilets (48.9%) and the traditional pit latrine at 39.4%. However, about 32% of town dwellers did not know where the toilets in their towns were.

They went to bushes, corridors or used the roadside to ease themselves. Towns like Alebtong, Kaabong and Napak presented the biggest number of residents who went to the bushes and roadsides. The quality of the toilets was generally wanting.

The survey revealed that 25% of the toilets were dirty and only 18% could be described as clean. About 33% of towns had no toilets.


There was a time when potholes had become synonymous with Kampala and the city road network was in a total mess. But it appears the problem has shifted to other towns.

Only 14% of the towns were said to have roads without potholes, while 45% of roads are riddled with them. Isingiro, Yumbe and Lamwor are now among the towns with the biggest number of potholes.

Buliisa, Bundibugyo and Kabwohe, on the other hand, have no potholes at all. However, the absence of potholes in some of the towns may be a result of them having a single street or no tarmac road.

Fort Portal town. Beyond in the background are part of the Rwenzori mountain ranges.

Why Kaabong tops dustbin list

Kaabong may seem like an unlikely town to top the list of towns with sufficient garbage disposal bins. However, the survey found that it scored 8.4 out of a possible 10 points when it came to the provision of bins.

Mayor Loiki Gabriel Paak says the district has allied with several NGOs who help them secure funds for propeople programmes.

The dustbins, for example, were given to them by Action Against Hunger, a nongovernmental organisation operating in the area. Fort Portal came third on the list and Mayor Asaba Ruyonga says the situation will get even better.

He says: “We want to get dustbins for every street. We have a big plan which we shall achieve next financial year. In the meantime, we have made it compulsory for every business owner in the town to own a dustbin. We sensitized the business community and they are very cooperative.”

The respondents

A total of 2,654 respondents were selected.

They were above the age of 18 years and had lived in the town in question for at least two years.

No three consecutive respondents selected were of the same gender or age group (Youth: 18-25; senior youth: 26-35 and adults: 35+)

No more than two respondents were selected within the same immediate area/on the same street.

Males: 58%, Females: 42%

Average age: 32 years

 Where cows compete for the road


Animals competing with motorists for the road in Hoima

Loitering animals

In some countries, it is a crime to let your animal loiter on the streets. In rural China, for example, cattle are kept in a gazetted area and should it leave, the owner pays a fine.

However, in Kampala and other Ugandan towns, animals, pedestrians and vehicles compete for space. The survey reveals that 65% of the respondents said they had seen animals roaming in their towns.

Cows were the most common animals in the towns, with 76.5% of respondents saying they had seen cows on the streets, followed by goats at 62.8%. Towns with the biggest number of loitering animals are Yumbe, Dokolo and Alebtong while Kalangala, Kyegegwa and Fort Portal reported the least numbers.

Besides making the streets dirty, science has shown that animals spread diseases to humans when the two mingle.

Street flowers

Critics of Kampala Capital City Authority executive director Jennifer Musisi say she is wasting taxpayers’ money on planting flowers along city roads. But many who see the beauty in plants sing her praises.

Plants help break the concrete monotony that can affect the general temperament of residents. Not every town thinks like that, though.

According to the survey, 73% of the respondents from mainly Manafwa, Pader and Namutumba, said there were no flower gardens in their towns. Residents in Kisoro, Buliisa, Mbarara and Ntungamo praised their towns’ flowers.

A Sir Gerald Portal statue in Fort Portal (left) and the main clock tower in Jinja

Sewage bursts

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) may have other problems, but when it comes to fixing sewage pipes in towns, it scores highly. The results of the survey show that 77% of the respondents said their towns had no spilling sewage.

However, burst pipes were a big problem in towns like Kisoro, Busia, Mukono and Ntungamo.

Clean water

A total of 54% of the towns were reported to have clean water. Residents of Kalangala, Buvuma and Nansana praised their water quality most, while those in Mpigi, Kyegegwa and Kanoni reported a big problem with their water quality.

Dust bins

Urban areas produce a lot of waste, which needs to be disposed of in an orderly fashion. Urban authorities usually have a system of removing garbage and in Uganda, the most common is dustbins and garbage skips.

The survey found out that 45% of the towns did not have a single bin with Nsiika, Nansana and Malaba as the worst examples.

Only 13% of the towns had sufficient dustbins, while the residents rated Kaabong, Buliisa and Fort Portal highly in this respect.


Another indicator of cleanliness in a town is litter. Dustbins may be available, but if residents are not mobilised to use them, the town will be dirtied by litter. In the survey, 66% of the respondents said they had seen people litter their towns.

The problem was common in Yumbe, Otuke and Lyantonde while in Bulambuli, Koboko and Mpigi, residents were reported to be disciplined.


Neat, well-trimmed compounds are a visible sign of a clean town. The survey used it to evaluate urban areas and 53% of the respondents said bushes were a common sight in their towns.

Most of these were from Otuke, Ntoroko and Lamwo.Residents of Makindye, Buikwe and Lyantonde praised their towns for being less bushy.

General look

Shabby buildings make a town look untidy. Urban leaders insist that landlords should paint their premises to add beauty to their towns. This was another criteria in the survey and 50.8% of residents said their towns had old paint.

Only 9.9% said most of the buildings in their towns wore fresh paint. These were from Entebbe, Kampala, Lira, Oyam, Kapchorwa and Jinja.

Leaders speak out

trueFriday Kyomya, Kyegegwa town clerk: We clean the town once a week. Recently, we withdrew the garbage skips because residents were filling it with soil, human waste and dead animals.

Robert Wambedde, the Industrial division town clerk, Mbale, says some blocked sewers in the town are a result of encroachment on the main sewerage lines. “The technical offices have allocated all the land including where the public latrine formerly existed to private developers

trueSam Byibisho, the Kisoro mayor: The town is grappling with inadequate water supply. But even with a low budget, private individuals plant flowers to enhance the beauty.

Iganga mayor Siraj Katono: Our plan is to have all archaic buildings razed and replaced with storeyed shopping complexes. This will ensure orderly development and maximise the use of space.

Non-compliance will result in forceful demolition or force us to declare the plots vacant and hand them over to the district land board for reallocation to prospective developers.

trueJames Katumba, Kayunga mayor: Garbage collection centres were phased out. Now, residents put their garbage in sacks and a truck moves around periodically to collecting them.


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