Hoima’s stinking garbage plant endangers health, kills funding chances – Ex-manager’s opinion

Ex-manager for Kibati Garbage Recycling Plant in East Division, Hoima City, Mr Kenneth Baikya, talks with Kazi-njema News. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

I have been moved by reports of apparent mismanagement of the Kibati garbage recycling plant which I managed from 2013 to 2016.

I was trained by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on waste management before recruitment.

From here, I authoritatively make an informed opinion about this plant and as a concerned citizen.

First and foremost, the bad smell causing public complaints is also a potential cause of health complications including cancer.

It is not only the plant neighbours at risk but all Hoima city dwellers and beyond since contaminated oxygen has no boundaries.

Audio: Baikya on garbage health dangers (English)

Based on my understanding and experience, stinking comes when the waste is not separated based on their nature and treated accordingly. Consequently, wastes mix up in the process of decomposition and form dangerous gases including methane that hurt human health with short, medium and long term effects.

I don’t buy the excuse that the city council does not have the money to run the facility because the plant can make money itself and run itself if well managed.

I think the city authorities have not prioritised its funding and also taken interest in establishing the long term benefits of its proper management and the dangers associated with poor waste management.

Audio: Baikya on lack of priority and losses (English)
Heaps of garbage pile up at Kibati waste management plant in East Division, Hoima City. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

Missing manure and its value

Way back in 2015, we would generate at least five tonnes of manure per day and sell each tonne at Shs100,000 to farmers. You may spare some minutes to compute how much it generated in a year on average.

We would go an extra mile to farmers and teach them how to apply it and where for better results – which indeed worked with many testimonies received.

It means we miss income and a chance of boosting agriculture in Bunyoro at this time the soils are becoming infertile and unable to support agriculture without manure and fertiliser.

Secondly, we are missing opportunities of getting carbon funds because if well managed and data is accurately collected about the waste, the city can access carbon funds from the World Bank.

The amount of carbon funds an entity gets depends on the accuracy of data collected in a given period and submitted to NEMA.

You can now guess that there is no accurate data collection at Kibati waste facility since there is apparent waste disposed irresponsibly.

Let me share with you an example of Masindi municipality that received about Shs600m from the carbon funds back in 2017.

Imagine how much Hoima city can attract given its population and waste generated per day today.

Hoima city could be missing over a billion shillings per year both in carbon fund sale of manure.

Some plastic bottles collected and piled together in Hoima City ready to be transported for recycling. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

Recommendation

I know there is land where the authorities can urgently dig a pit and cover the waste to save the public from the stench and associated health risks.

They should take urgent action to have competent staff that can collect accurate data, separate hazardous waste from non-hazardous and biodegradable from non-biodegradable waste and treat them accordingly for manure production and safety. Hoima city will then be a good place to visit, invest or live in.

I believe that we shall all benefit from this facility built in 2012 at a tune of Shs2.5b funding from the World Bank through the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

This opinion is written by Mr Kenneth Baikya, Ex-Manager, Kibati Garbage Recycling Facility in Hoima City.

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