February 24, 2024

Masaka City Council authorities have started the process of procuring a private firm to manage garbage collection in the city.

Mr Godfrey Bamanyisa, the city clerk, told the Monitor on Sunday that they are always overwhelmed in the management of garbage.

“We lack enough manpower and transport to help in garbage collection, which has left Masaka stuck with solid waste,” Mr Bamanyisa said.

“We expect to get a competent firm that matches international standards. Our role will remain at regulating performance of the private firm,” he added.

Mr Bamanyisa said the city council passed a waste management ordinance which is currently before the Attorney General, adding that it is expected to address challenges in solid waste management.

The move to get a private firm to manage waste comes at a time when a group of volunteers who have been managing garbage since January are facing resistance from city dwellers. Members of Youth in Action Masaka City, a volunteer group, charge a fee ranging between Shs500 and Shs1,000 depending on the volume of garbage generated.

However, some residents have since refused to pay the fee claiming it has not been approved by the city council.

Mr Bamanyisa said the council is also in the advanced stages of buying another piece of land for the city landfill after the one at Bulando Village was allocated to an investor to set up a stadium.

“We are temporarily using a section of the Bulando land, but we are soon procuring another piece of land where we shall be dumping waste,” he added.

The decision to privatize solid waste management was reached following the chronic failure by the city authorities to effectively do the work due to dwindled local revenue collection yet this component alone is costing them 46 percent of their total budget.

In 2019, some three local private firms had applied to collect garbage but failed to make it through the bidding process. This prompted authorities to continue managing garbage collection as they look for competent firms to handle the task. Masaka City generates at least 100 tonnes of garbage every week, but authorities can only collect 70 percent.

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