Breaking

Casual Workers in Arua City Use Bare Hands to Sort Hazardous Waste

The most affected are those that are deployed at the garbage sorting sites and cleaning services whose work among others involves getting in contact with waste products on the street and in drainage channels in the central business district of the city.
One of the casual workers at the temporary garbage dumping site next to OPM Office in Arua City

Audio 1

Casual laborers in Arua City are exposed to workplace injuries and illness, due to the lack of personal protective equipment.

The most affected are those that are deployed at the garbage sorting sites and cleaning services whose work among others involves getting in contact with waste products on the street and in drainage channels in the central business district of the city.

At the temporary garbage dumping site next to the Arua OPM Office, the cleaners and garbage collectors use bare hands and sometimes light polyethylene material to sort garbage. Some of the workers do not have access to high-visibility clothing, safety helmets, gloves, safety footwear, or other garments that would protect them against health and safety risks.

John Andama, one of the garbage workers faults authorities for remaining adamant while their laborers continue to operate in deplorable conditions.

TahiriMusema, another concerned worker says that they lack gloves and gumboots which often expose them to sharp objects while sorting garbage.

According to one of the workers who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisal from the authorities, she is worried that if the state of affairs doesn't change, they risk exposing their family members back home to deadly infections.

Francis Oguta, one of the officials at Dikiriber Company, one of the private firms managing garbage in the city has dismissed the claims noting that they normally provide their workers with protective gear for their safety. He however blamed the workers for deliberately failing to put on the protective gears while at work.

//Cue in; "Actually when you…

Cue out…protective gears"//.

Arua City Principal Health Inspector Godfrey Apangu says as authorities, they are equally concerned over the current state of affairs of the casual workers. He says plans are underway to engage the private garbage collection firms to address the plight of their workers.

There are at least seven private garbage collection firms that were contracted under the then Municipal council to manage garbage in Arua Town. 

According to section 13 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2006, it is obligatory for an employer to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of persons at the workplace.