Fort Portal Wetland Turned into Garbage Site

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Vendors say that they have repeatedly asked the area leaders to shift the garbage site in vain, and as a result, they are forced to dump garbage in the wetland.
09 May 2019 16:44
The garbage dumped in Nyakimya wetland is generated from Kabundaire Market and the surrounding areas

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Tonnes of garbage are being dumped in Nyakimya wetland in West Division, Fort Portal Municipality.   

The garbage is from Kabundaire market and surrounding areas.

Vendors at the market say that they have repeatedly asked the area leaders to put in place a garbage dumping site, in vain and as a result, they are forced to dump garbage in the wetland.

Robert Tusiime, a vendor who deals in food items, says that they have been decrying the stench from the site and how it is scaring away their customers but no solution has ever been given.

He adds that division leadership used to collect the garbage until they stopped about six months back.    

Fort Portal Municipal Council Town Clerk, Godfrey Bamanyisa, says that he is equally concerned that garbage is being dumped in a wetland. 

Banyamisa says that there are plans to remove all the garbage that has been dumped in Nyakimya wetland and then take it at to the recycling plant at Kitere.  

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Our reporter saw more garbage being ferried on wheelbarrows from the market to the wetland. 

Gladys Mirembe, the Fort Portal Environment Officer, failed to explain why the wetland has been misused and contaminated to this level.    

Mirembe says that she has already met the leaders of West Division and have agreed to remove the garbage.    

However, Bamanyisa says that given that most of the garbage is from the market, he is planning to relocate the vendors dealing in agricultural products from Kabundaire Market to Mpanga market as a measure of preserving the wetland and reducing the contamination levels.

Nyakimya wetland pours its water into River Mpanga, the biggest water source in Kabarole and neighbouring districts. Its destruction and contamination possess a health threat to the users.   

Meanwhile, residents of Fort Portal on Thursday launched a sanitation campaign, “Clean Tooro which is aimed at promoting sanitation in the region.   

Stephen Muhenda, a resident says that they started the initiative because Fort Portal town, which used to be among the cleanest in the country, is now littered with plastic waste and heaps of garbage.

The residents swept the streets of Fort Portal, unclogged trenches, collected garbage that was littered at various spots.

Rev Willy Kintu Muhanga, the Fort Portal Municipality mayor welcomed the campaign. He said that cleaning the town is everyone’s responsibility.

“I strongly welcome the idea as long as it remains on its core objectives,” he said.