Garbage and refuse management government intervention-A wasted effort.


Garbage and home used refuse in many towns and municipalities with in the country have been a thorn in the legs of the local government’s administration over the years.The local government administration classified garbage and refuse as a major and bigger problem that requires big finances and technical central government interventions.The local governments had tried to control the generation of garbage in particular using it’s own revenue collections but out rightly failed because of the inadequacy of funds to do the job and the continued generation of garbage and refuse.

Matters did not in any way improve when the revenue collected from within the bounders of local governments had to go to the central government Treasury before it is distributed conditionally in the districts to finance a variety of services including garbage and refuse collection.

The set back here is that money is received late and poorly managed by the people in the local governments treasuries.Garbage and refuse continued to be generated by both the homesteads and the industries.Local governments additionally manufacture refuse in it’s markets,medical facilities and education institutions as well.


Disgusted by the continued heaps of refuse and garbage and it’s subsequent harm to human and animal life with in the country, the Ugandan president Dr Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote a letter referenced PO/2003 directing the local government minister to provide solutions and the optimum way of making garbage and refuse a resource but not a considerable problem.

In his presidential directive on garbage and refuse the National president pointed out that garbage and refuse be managed at households.He classified garbage and refuse as organic materials( peelings,old cloth etc ),ceramics and grass ( broken crockery)and polythene papers,commonly known as Obuveera in Luganda language.

The president suggested that each of the garbage be put in separate polythene bags and at agreed place ( e.g, at the corner of the verandah for bungalows,in front of the ground floor for flats and some agreed place for rented houses commonly known as Mizigo in Luganda language,where it could be picked for it’s final rest or reuse ” garbage and refuse is not a problem but a resource” the president emphasized.

It is now barely seven years since the president gave a directive to the minister of local government about garbage and refuse and demanded for a conclusive report,nothing conclusively has been done until now,except the central government continue to allot the money to the local governments treasuries presumably to be used to finance for the collection and removal of garbage and refuse from the towns.People argue that the president’s letter was misdirected,that it was supposed to be addressed to the ministry of water,lands and environment that formulates the laws for the ministry of local government to implement. They assume that that is why president Dr Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s directive was not responded to.

Njeru town council hired a Netherlands expert who in partnership with WOODEN WOODS enterprise- an organization charged with urban sanitation and nature conservation,once upon a time hired by Njeru town council in 2007 to manage garbage and refuse come out with a strategy for better environment in Njeru town council after a one month’s survey on the point of garbage generation and disposal.The highly paid expert gave several recommendations on financial situation analysis,local government Act,markets,medical care,private sector involvement in waste management,garbage and industries,state of dumping sites, the river banks, awareness,domestically generated waste management and partnership.Out of the many recommendations the Netherlands expert gave to Njeru town council said that the council should start a Stake holders Platform for Njeru and explore all possible avenues for cooperation,” start joint ventures for the benefit of Njeru especially on landfill and water sewerage treatment under the partnership”

After the advent of the Netherlands expert in Njeru,Charles Ssegamwenge,the managing director of Wooden Woods enterprise and his team hired by Njeru town council had indeed set an outstanding modal of garbage and refuse collection and disposal as shown in the aligned pictures,Wooden Woods trial on separation at the waste collection point at the homesteads and sorted and decomposing waste being delivered to the farmers in form of manure as opposed to former dumping sites are situations that began to show signs of improvement.

However,Charles SSegamwenge told me that Njeru town council defaulted on Wooden Wooden enterprises and through the district of Buikwe,department of Health and Environment opted to contract a Tenderer who doubled the garbage and refuse collection fees instead but later opted out of the job due to non timely payment of his services.

Njeru town council in 2007/2008 fiscal year spent 46,400,000 shillings on the collection of garbage and refuse.In 2008/2009 it spent 60 million Uganda shillings under the service of a contracted tenderer ” it is on record that when we worked with them the council spent 30 million shillings on the same service, Ssegamwenge Charles added,this was because of the use of direct labor” he concluded.

Moving out of Njeru town council for a while Kampala city council troubled with the continued generation of garbage and refuse came out with an ordinance in 2007,particularly on sold waste management.In Article 4,chapter 18: the council shall ensure that there is separation of sold waste at the source of generation by the responsible person.What happened to this regulation? why is Kampala city council authority still using the Tenderer to remove unsorted waste from the point of generation- why?

In Masaka municipal council,the oldest urban authority,does not have a dumping ground,the former ground was sold off-that is why the former District Resident Commissioner- the president’s representative( Bamusede Bwambale) described it in 2005 as the most dirties town.

In the district of Ssembabule,the dumping ground is in a seasoned swamp,next to a modern built slaughter house!

National environment management authority should know that waste dumping grounds in many towns of Uganda are already filled up,and that the public that generates waste are kept unaware of their roles although policies and ordinances continue to be passed into law by Local government councils.

Local governments have not stack to recommended methods of garbage and refuse collection and disposal.They have continued to spend a lot of money on un searched methods that put them on the receiving end and the continued generation of garbage.They fear that if such recommended methods of collection of garbage and it’s disposal are used there will be no work for them eventually.

This certify the claims that the government’s intervention
on garbage and refuse collection is a Wasted effort.

How have your town handled garbage and refuse collection and disposal? On the other hand The East African Community Secretariat has proposed a Polythene Material control Bill to provide a legal framework for the preservation of a clean and health environment through the prohibition of manufacture,sale,importation and use of polythene materials across the region.The Bill also seeks to harmonize issues regarding environmental and natural resources management,urging the States to adopt common environmental regulations,incentives and standards.

Uganda had tried on such a similar prohibition through the Act of Parliament but it’s implementation however become a hoax.Many industrial products in the Region have continued to be parked in polythene bags, adding an insult to the injury in the efforts of government to make garbage and refuse a resource.


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