Namutumba Town Council, located in Namutumba District, has recently passed an ordinance requiring residents and businesses to pay for the collection and disposal of garbage generated within their homes and workplaces. This move comes in response to longstanding issues with waste management, stemming from rapid population growth and insufficient funding, since the council became operational in July 2007.
Mr. Yakubu Magola, the town council’s health inspector, explained that the ordinance compels them to contract a waste management service. The exact fees are still under discussion, but they are expected to range between UGX 500 and UGX 1,000 per day.
He further clarified, “The cost won’t be uniform, as different categories of people and the volume of garbage they generate will determine the fees. Shop owners, for example, will pay a different amount compared to market vendors.”
Mr. Magola views this resolution as a significant development, believing it will discourage improper disposal of garbage in open spaces within the town and reduce the burden on authorities responsible for waste management. Under the new system, a contractor will be responsible for collecting and disposing of the garbage, while the town council will oversee the process.
He pointed out the challenge the council has faced over the years, emphasizing poor revenue collection due to some individuals’ reluctance to pay taxes, making it difficult to maintain the town’s cleanliness and hygiene.
Mr. Sudasi Mushega, the Matyama Ward councillor, stressed that seeking a contractor aligns with the town’s “Keep Namutumba Clean” slogan and aims to boost local revenue for efficient garbage management. He highlighted the need for the public to understand the costs associated with waste generation and the significance of proper disposal.
Local residents, however, blame authorities for their inadequate waste management efforts. Many believe that the town council collects only a fraction of the solid waste generated daily, with some collectors reportedly going without payment for months.
Mr. Muhammad Kirya raised concerns about what he perceives as “double taxation” for garbage collection, citing existing fees for trading licenses and weekly dues paid by market vendors.
Ms. Rebecca Namukose argued that the waste problem cannot be solved through force alone. Instead, she called for a more comprehensive approach to address the challenge.
In contrast, Mr. Bakali Mutuya, the chairperson of traders in Namutumba Town Council, appealed to authorities to educate the wider community about the new law and the importance of paying for garbage collection. He noted that while traders’ leadership has been informed about the new regulation and the role of the contractor, the general public, which generates the garbage, lacks awareness.
Mr. Godfrey Mwembe, the town council chairperson, emphasized that the existing local revenue is insufficient to manage waste effectively. He suggested that following the example of Iganga Municipal Council, contracting a professional waste management service is a practical way to address the waste issue.