25 May 2009

Uganda: Toilet Emptying Needs Investors

Kampala — THERE are investment opportunities in emptying of pit latrines in Kampala and other urban areas, the World Bank's senior water and sanitation specialist has observed.

"The bank carried out a study in Kampala and found that Kampala residents generate 800,000 litres of feaces per day (800 cubic meters) but the capacity to empty and dispose them of is only 230.000 litres," Samuel Dawuna Mutono explained.

"This means more local people can invest in emptying pit latrines but the biggest challenge we discovered is that most of these toilets are not accessible, while some people are too poor to pay for the service," he said.

Mutono said only 8% of the country's population is connected to the sewage system.

"So how about the 92%? That is why the bank has supported this business linkage programme aimed at training members of the private emptiers association to improve their services."

This was at the signing of a memorandum of understanding for a business linkage programme between the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Enterprise Uganda and the Private Emptiers Association at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

Dr. William Muhairwe, the managing director of the NWSC, Tom Buringuriza, deputy executive director of UIA, Mary Adong, the acting executive director of Enterprise Uganda, and Jafari Matovu of the private emptiers' association signed the memorandum.

Enterprise Uganda's director of business advisory services, Rosemary Mutyabule, said the association was among the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are faced with challenges.

"SMEs lack documented long-term visions, strategic business plans, adequate capitalisation, while others are involved in unscrupulous practices and have poor customer care," she said.

"That is why the association will benefit much from the training," Mutyabule said.

Matovu said the association had only 35 trucks, while Kampala City Council has six trucks.

He added that the Police and Uganda Peoples Defence Forces have one truck each for emptying toilets.

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