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Gov't Receives Ugx 7 Billion to Strengthen Solid Waste Management

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The government of Korea working with the Ministry of Water and Environment have launched a 7.35 billion shillings project aimed at strengthening the capacity of Kampala and the metropolitan area in solid waste management.

This is the first phase of a project which shall be implemented in Kampala, Entebbe, Mukono, Makindye Ssabagabo and Nansana.

The project shall be implemented under the Global Green Growth Institute, a treaty-based inter-governmental international development organization which aims at promoting green growth and a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Muhammad Ali Shaikh is the project coordinator from the Global Green Growth Institute and shall work with the local governments to implement the project.

Ali says that this project has two phases, the first one which is costed at 7.35 billion shillings includes building local capacity, conducting studies on where a treatment plant shall be established, making designs for the plant, identifying what equipment is needed, where and which type to purchase and how the plant shall be sustained.

Ali adds that this phase also includes conducting studies on where to establish at least four waste collection centers, how to do sorting, the equipment used and recycling opportunities that can be exploited such that the center is not just a decomposing site.

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This phase started in 2021 with preliminary preparations, conducting stakeholder meetings, and recruitment of project coordination team.

The phase is planned to close in 2023 when the feasibility studies, construction designs and implementation plans are complete.

Ali says that the second phase is likely to start immediately after the first one having drawn detailed designs of the required facilities for solid waste and feacal sludge management. The project shall include setting up four solid waste collection and transfer centers each with a capacity of 300 tons a day and is projected to serve at least 500,000 individuals.

The fecal sludge treatment plant to be established is projected to have a capacity of treating 400 cubic meters, 100 cubic meters less that Kampala’s main plant, Lubigi, which has a sedimentation capacity of 500 cubic meters per day.

Ali estimates that the second phase of the project shall consume 10 million US dollars and shall indirectly benefit four million people.

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Data from local governments indicates that Kampala generates 1,953 tons of solid waste per day but only collects 65 percent (1,271 tons), Entebbe generates 126 tons and collects 63 tons (50 percent), Mukono generates 179 tons and collects 76 tones (42 percent) and then Makindye Ssabagabo, Kira and Nansana generate 1,364 tons but collect only 92 tons (7 percent).

When waste generated from all these areas is combined, it comes to a total of 3,622 tons of which only 1,502 tons representing 33 percent gets collected and properly disposed. The rest of the garbage ends up in the community, in drainage channels and water bodies.

George Masengere, the senior environment officer for Mukono and the chairperson of the technical working group for waste and sanitation for Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area says that they still face challenges in dealing with solid waste in the district because of lack of sufficient equipment like garbage collection trucks and compactors among others.

Masengere says that although the district has a landfill in Katikolo with capacity of 70 tonnes, they dump there 79 tonnes of garbage. The site is both a decomposing facility and a recycling center especially for plastics, he says. Masengere adds that over 70 percent of the waste generated is solid waste but they do not have the capacity to collect all of it. With only eight trucks and compressors, Masengere says that they can only collect less than 50 percent of the total amount of solid waste generated daily.

Masengere says that due to lack of enough equipment to collect garbage, they have called on more private companies to collect garbage at a fee met by the homes and private institutions that want their garbage collected. So far, the district is working with De Waste and Bin it companies to collect some more waste.

Masengere is hopeful that with this project, they shall be able to get more facilities for waste management including another solid waste landfill where sorting and recycling is also done.

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The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Environment, Alfred Okoth Okidi thanked the Korean government and their partners for working with the government to implement programs that shall improve the health of people and protect the environment fromthe pollution that results from improper waste management.

He referred to cases of disposal of industrial untreated waste in water bodies as one of the acts that have polluted the environment and affects the quality of life of living things that benefit from the water bodies. He says that such and more are effects that arise from growing urbanization and industrialization yet without the required facilities to ensure proper waste management.

Okidi says that the project shall not only improve the health status of the beneficiaries but shall also create jobs and generate some venue for the government, especially at the local government level.

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The project shall be largely funded by the government of Korea (KOICA) and the European Union.