Opinion: Going beyond the president's directive on garbage collection


By Ahmed Wetaka 

Dear Editor,

I would like to address the recent directive issued by the President regarding the proliferation of garbage in urban areas. While I am pleased that the President has taken notice of this long-standing issue, I cannot help but question why it has taken so long for action to be taken?

Many Ugandans have suffered for years due to the heaps of garbage that dot our towns and urban centers, yet their voices have been repeatedly repressed by state security.

In his directive, the President has instructed local leaders to ensure that the problem of garbage is resolved within the next six months. This includes the procurement of garbage skips and the establishment of recycling plants.

However, I would like to bring to the President's attention that Uganda is not short of these resources.

Over the past years, the World Bank has supported various urban authorities to secure garbage skips and wheel loaders and finance the construction of recycling plants.

Most of the original municipalities, including Mbale, Jinja, Masaka, Iganga, Mbarara, Fort Portal, and Soroti, have recycling plants courtesy of the World Bank. Despite this, the problem of garbage has persisted.

The main issue is funding.

While the World Bank financed these facilities and expected them to be self-sustaining through the sale of manure, many of the beneficiaries have failed to operate them due to a lack of funding.

Moreover, the central government's dwindling funding to these local governments has not helped matters.

Therefore, I urge the government to explore ways of increasing financing for local governments to enable them to deliver essential services to their people.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Ahmed Wetaka

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