Should the dumping of garbage in the drainage be attributed to bad mindset?

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Should the dumping of garbage in the drainage be attributed to bad mindset?
Garbage heaps on Alice Muloki road (Scindia Road) last year

Edward Balidawa

As I said to you earlier, my brother, the issue is not about mindset. I honestly doubt if any of those guys dumping garbage in the drainage don't know that it is not right to do so! They know that it isn't right and it is prohibited. That is why they have to wait for a downpour to do what they do when no one will catch them.

The real issue should be how did we get to this?

Someone of age beyond 40 years and who ever lived in any one of the urban centres in Uganda like Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Gulu, Masaka, Kabale and Kampala will recall that even during the Amin times, there used to be garbage trucks of local councils which regularly and consistently drove around to pick up garbage. There were garbage skips all around in the community. The roads were relatively motorable and there was lighting in the communities.

Today, even if the communities in the various settlements where the city dwellers have settled were to collect garbage collection contributions from themselves, it is most probable that the garbage truck wouldn't have where to pass to reach that community.

So it is the failure of government on so many things that have caused the situation in which we find ourselves. If there is no deliberate physical urban planning and no enforcement of the law, what you get is chaos and anarchy.

This is very true not only with the overflowing slums that are all in and around the city but also with the so-called emerging settlement areas where you find a three-storied mansion right adjacent to a mud-wattle three-roomed rental. The common thread that goes through in all this is that in most of these settlements, there is defined road route access and thus the guys residing in the three-story posh apartments have to park their vehicles at a nearby police post. We see how the day/night parking yards have become becoming a booming business.

So as we go full throttle to demonize those who are dumping in the water channels, we ought to exert pressure on those who are in charge of managing the affairs of this country to wake up and see the catastrophe that is before if we continue to let things go leize faire! We have already seen in real time how Nairobi City has been washed away due to poor drainage regimes and degradation in the city.

The consequences of poor urban planning, lack of proper city drainage system, environmental degradation and poor service delivery in terms of road infrastructure and garbage collection not only adversely affect the poor in the ghettos, those living in slums and downtrodden but also also affect those living on mountain tops of luxury and opulence.

It is time for us all to wake up to the reality of nature.

Edward Baliddawa is a Former Member of Parliament

Contact: 0772502121


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