Six years after being voted Africa's second cleanest small city in 2015, Arua city is now arguably the filthiest of Uganda's 11 cities, stinking under the fumes emanating from mountains of rotting uncollected garbage.
Arua city council is now groaning under the weight of the garbage collection challenge, currently being blamed on an acute shortage of garbage skips, which is threatening garbage
The city currently has
only two functional garbage skips that are supposed to serve some 22 garbage collection sites.
Several skips that were
acquired before Arua was elevated to a city status are now dilapidated while
others have been disposed of as scrap.
The shortage of skips has
paved the way for the growth of messy and abandoned landfills along Idi Amin road and on Duka lane in Central Division. Meanwhile areas around Arua Main market
entrance, Arua Hospital lower gate, and behind Arua OPM office have continued
to harbor huge filthy heaps of poorly disposed garbage.
Arua City Clerk Paul
Batanda acknowledged the challenge, noting that they made an effort to procure
over 20 new garbage skips under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure
Development (USMID) project but their application was rejected.
He however says efforts
are already in place to find alternative sources of funds to procure new skips
for the city.
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In November last year,
Arua City procured two trucks under USMID project which are now been used for
But Arua city mayor Sam
Nyakua says the council is considering putting in place efforts to cause
behavioural change to encourage city dwellers to safely dispose of waste.
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In 2015, at the inaugural
African mayor’s awards in Luanda, Angola, Arua town emerged the second cleanest small city after Cape Verde’s Praia. However, three years later, Arua
was named one of the dirtiest Town in Uganda due poor garbage management.
It is estimated that more
than 70,000 tonnes of garbage is generated daily in Arua city, but only less
than half is collected, according to records from city health and environment