Financial hiccups, improper refuse disposal trouble Hoima City authorities

Some of the people who participated in the Keep Hoima City Clean exercise on Friday, February 2, 2024. (Image: Samuel Baguma/Kazi-njema News)

The limited financial resource envelope to hire sufficient personnel for garbage collection and irresponsible garbage disposal are among other factors troubling Hoima City authorities to keep the area clean.

It is not unprecedented seeing garbage littered on some streets and roads in the city with some decomposing and stinking with liquid oozing from leaking bags unexpectedly thrown at some points of the burgeoning mid-western Uganda’s oil city.

Again, it is not an uncommon phenomenon seeing women force their household rubbish into the drainage system, thinking that they are riding the city of the trash yet it ends up blocking it especially when it does not rain and in some circumstances, rain water fails to push away such rubbish.

This poor management of waste disposal is a pressing issue in Hoima city that coerced the authorities to ponder on monthly cleanups with the view that it becomes a lesson to the city dwellers to dispose of the garbage properly.

Mr Brian Kaboyo, the Hoima City Mayor, has told Kazi-njema radio that, the monthly general cleaning exercise in the city is a form of community sensitisation about how garbage can be properly disposed of and collected without littering it for a healthy environment.

With the cleaning exercise this month taken to areas surrounding the central market, Wright Road, Kyalisiima Road and Market Street among others, the mayor says the authorities’ field work intends to ensure that it drives the city population to keeping their precincts clean and fit for human habitation.

He says the authorities’ hitting the streets for the exercise is due to low revenue collection that has failed the city council to hire adequate garbage collectors as well as buy fuel for the garbage truck to collect and transport the solid waste to the dump site.

A woman shows the Hoima City Mayor, Mr Brian Kaboyo, one of the holes in the slabs covering a draining system used by some people to throw in garbage on Friday, February 2, 2024. (Image: Samuel Baguma/Kazi-njema News)

This means the garbage stays where it has been dumped for long before it is collected and transported away.

However, the household litter that is always collected is the one which is dumped in the central business area of the city like Bugahya Road inter alia leaving out those a bit far off especially in the city’s West Division as near as about three kilometres away at Kibiingo trading centre that harbours the division headquarters.

Residents in that part of the city have for long complained about the uncollected garbage that forces them to set it ablaze instead.

To tackle the garbage issue, Mr Kaboyo says efforts are being made to ensure that local revenue collection improves so the city can relatively be clean.

As the authorities drive the efforts forward, the mayor urges the city population to responsibly dispose of the garbage generated from their homes, workplaces and while on streets to avoid disease outbreaks due to poor hygiene.

Audio: Kaboyo on garbage managament (English)

Mr Wilfred Ndozereho, the Hoima East City Division Environmental Health Officer, is anxious about people who dump rubbish in drainage systems in the city saying it ultimately culminates in blockage during rainy seasons.

Some of the garbage collected in the Keep Hoima Clean exercise loaded onto a garbage truck. (Image: Samuel Baguma/Kazi-njema News)

He is unhappy that although the exercise to keep Hoima city clean was initiated, the community has not fully embraced it which has kept the city dirty given that it is held once in a month.

The environmental health officer urges the community to embrace hygiene as the best practice in this contemporary society where modernity calls for versatility based on the demands to improve environmental health standards.

Amidst this, Mr Ndozereho reveals that the city authorities are mooting a plan to have a producer-pay-strategy which will allow companies to recycle the garbage collected to help reduce the volume of trash in Hoima city.

Audio: Ndozereho on garbage management (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Princess Diana Mugenyi, a Hoima city-based entrepreneur in education services, was this month’s chief cleaner in absentia.

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