UGANDA: Ordinance puts households at the centre of waste management in Mbale

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UGANDA: Ordinance puts households at the centre of waste management in Mbale ©Adam Jan Figel/Shutterstock

The city of Mbale, located about 225 km from the Ugandan capital Kampala, has a new strategy to improve its solid waste management. The new ordinance, which makes traders and households responsible, will come into force after it has been approved by the city councillors.

Solid waste management has been a source of tension in the town of Mbale, Uganda. This is due to delays in waste collection because of the lack of adequate equipment. This is compounded by the lack of a functioning landfill. “The Dokho landfill site dedicated to the burial of waste collected in Mbale is full to bursting,” said Martine Busiku, the municipal secretary of Mbale division in 2020.

The new ordinance aims to improve solid waste management in this Ugandan city of over 96,000 people. This, according to the local authorities, will put an end to protests by traders, who pay 5,000 Ugandan shillings (more than $1.41) a year for waste collection. The new ordinance stipulates that every owner or occupier of a premises, business entity or industry will now be responsible for the sanitary condition of their premises. The collected solid waste must then be stored in durable containers or bins before final disposal.

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According to the municipality, the ordinance will create jobs and income for waste collectors, and ensure compliance with environmentally sound approaches to effective solid waste management in Mbale town, located about 225 km from Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

In addition, data on the waste generated in the town will be collected for use in various projects. The data will also be used to sensitise waste producers on the adverse effects of their leftover products on the ecosystems. The new ordinance will come into force after the City Council has approved it. “The ordinance is now awaiting approval by the city councillors. We need to prepare the public to welcome these new measures,” says Rhoda Nyarib, Mbale Municipality’s Environmental Officer.

Inès Magoum

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