13 October 2017

Uganda: Wakiso On the Spot Over Waste Management

Wakiso — Wakiso District is heading for a health disaster due to lack of a proper solid waste management and disposal system.

Currently, the district has no landfill. The only known refuse management facility is at Bukolwa Village, Nkumba Parish in Entebbe municipality, which is not appropriately managed with waste dumped in the open.

"The rest of the district does not have an acceptable waste management system. There is indiscriminate dumping-in wetlands, bushes and even along major roads," says Ms Edith Nakatudde, the district physical planner.

This has heightened fears that absence of a gazetted landfill in the district may cause diseases associated with poor garbage disposal like dysentery and cholera.

Ms Nakatudde says garbage generated in the district is haphazardly collected, stored, transported and indiscriminately disposed of.

"Even in certain areas where there are garbage skips, they are not utilised by residents, while in many places, there are no skips,"she adds.

A physical planning report compiled by Savimaxx Limited, a private consultancy firm, pins some private garbage collectors of collecting fees from households but end up dumping waste in illegal places.

"This problem is more serious in Makindye/Ssabagabo, Kira, and Nansana Municipalities and in all the town councils in the district," the report says.

Indiscriminate dumping

Due to lack of a well gazetted landfill in the district, residents, manufacturers and the business community have resorted to indiscriminate dumping of waste in wetlands or in open drainage systems while certain backyards and road sides are filled with refuse.

Besides, there is also poor disposal of human waste, especially in congested areas or slums.

As a result, people's health in the area is at greater risk.

Despite Kiteezi dumping site being located in Wakiso, garbage generated within the district is rarely taken there because it is managed by Kampala Capital City Authority.

Report

But Savimaxx Limited report warns that the management conditions of Kiteezi landfill do not qualify it to be called a landfill, but a vast dumping ground with a lot of associated environmental challenges, which need to be seriously addressed.

"As a result, several problems have resulted at Kiteezi dumping site such as, pollution of drinking water in surrounding settlements by leachate from the garbage, fresh air pollution due to the stench, heavy use of the dusty road to the landfill site by lorries carrying solid waste usually not secured by nets leading to dust pollution and dropping of unsightly garbage on the roadside and constant breakouts of respiratory infections, dysentery, cholera and malaria in the environs of the dumping site," reads the report in part.

Mr Moses Ssebakijje, a resident of Kasangati Town, says the prevalence of haphazard dumping of waste everywhere in the district is a clear manifestation that residents are headed for disaster.

"We can blame our leaders, but we have not also played our part, we simply dump garbage anyhow," he says.

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