Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three garbage trucks have been commissioned by the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Beti Kamya.
Donated by the World Bank funded Lake Victoria Environment Management Project (LVEMP), the trucks were commissioned on Friday morning.
The project which supports all countries that boarder Lake Victoria targets to reduce the lake pollution through reduction of garbage that is carried into the lake in drainage. The trucks come at a time when garbage collection in Kampala is becoming a challenge and controversial.
A number of business people have lodged complaints of abuse, and exploitation against the private companies that were contracted by the city authority to collect garbage at a cost.
In October last year, traders took advantage of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s visit to parts of downtown Kampala to pin Nabugabo Updeal Joint Venture, one of the consortia collecting garbage for using gun wielding personnel to intimidate them. They demanded that the Nabugabo Updeal contracts be terminated. Museveni told KCCA to offer traders any option that they wanted in regard to garbage collection.
But former KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi said that the contracts signed with companies collecting garbage had expired and that the authority was undertaking consultations before making a decision on how to move forward on the issue of garbage collection. KCCA officials later said the contracts had not expired and advised residents to continue paying for garbage collection.
In January, traders, under the Kampala Arcades Traders Association (KATA), umbrella, sensing no positive response from KCCA, sent another petition to the president, reminding him that they want private garbage collecting companies out of Kampala.
Kamya, speaking at the commissioning of trucks at City Hall said garbage collection in Kampala is becoming controversial because some people don’t want to pay. She said the additional three trucks with capacity of 20 tones each will relive KCCA of pressure by covering more areas.
Kamya urged KCCA to focus on collecting garbage in slums where people cannot afford to pay private garbage collectors as government prepare long term solution. She warned city residents that they have a responsibility to play in keeping the city clean such as avoiding littering of garbage anywhere and preparing their garbage before its collected by KCCA trucks.
KCCA acting Executive Director, Andrew Kitaka said the institution’s capacity to collect garbage has been tremendously enhanced. He said KCCA has been collecting 20% of garbage in Kampala with 10 trucks.
The addition of 3 new trucks, Kitaka said will enable the KCCA to expand its area of coverage. He said the institution has received support through LVEMP since 2014.