Harmful waste material disposal in Moroto Karamoja sub region

Waste disposal in Moroto Photo by @Teba/2019

The development of urban centers in Karamoja arrive with the challenge of unreadiness to manage the waste materials. As positive opportunities flow into the sub region. But for waste materials management it is critical challenge.

Moroto district is one of first track growing towns in North Eastern Uganda (Karamoja sub region) It is also among the nine districts and the old district of Karamoja sub region. Moroto Municipality is the business and administrative center of the sub region. Moroto is a home to hundred thousands of people from whole over Uganda including natives and houses over hundreds of Non Governmental Organizations both international NGOs and cooperation. It is also a center for government regional offices for Karamoja.

Waste material disposal in Moroto Municipality; common wastes are plastics derived from materials found in nature, such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals and plants. In Moroto town as you walk towards suburbs of Kamshwahili, Kitale Road, all your way from the Hospital lane you will warmly be welcomed by flying squad of vuberas (plastic waste matter of chlorides origin) dumped along the road. It is worst when you reach the central small water catchment separating the up town and the suburb of Kamswhili. In July, 2018 Loupa Pius wrote on facebook tagging the Vice District Chairperson of Moroto Hon. Christine Akot on the dangers of plastics on the environment and it’s features.

The status of Moroto on plastics disposal and management is appealing at it’s tender age of growth. Also tells you that there is limited political will, No attention from public, NGOs and local government departments. Also the municipality has no or unimplemented Environmental Management plan or Byelaws.

Waste materials dumped in moroto photo by Teba 2019

The common waste materials in Karamoja: Most of the plastics found in Karamoja are not made in Karamoja, they are foreign to Karamoja. The common plastics are from companies based in urban and cities of Uganda and others are all the way from Europe, India China and USA. The materials that are common are from; Waragi Sackets, Drinking water bottles from Rwenzori Bottling Company, plastics of Mukwano Industries, Riham, and @Nice plastics Uganda and many others. Facebook post quote; “Moroto Municipality, rabish in the Heart of the first City of Karamoja. It’s alarming to see this in town. What is mayor and the Council thinking??? Wake up or you retire forcefully” harmful effects and dangers of failed plastic management are that Plastic bags are not healthy for our soils, water, livestock and human beings and general environment.

  • The plastics if eaten by animals leads to death
  • If buried in soil; makes it unproductive for crops and pasture.
  • If burn’t and acted by high temperatures can produce mix chemicals like the Chloro-carbons or Chlorides that are harmful to the respiratory system of both humans and animals if inhaled.
  • If dumped in water bodies or sources or pathways can block water ways, infects domestic water sources, kills aquatic animals, cause floods and can clog water pipes.

Some recommendations for thought: 

  1. Develop or implement the Environmental Action plan and consider sensitization.
  2. Provide safe places for disposal in every street and every busy corner of the town. e.g the dumping bins/ trash bins.
  3. The leaders should buy their own water bottles and carry water from home.
  4. Enact or implement a byelaw.
  5. Task the business owners and land lords to take full responsibility of their plastics And actions.
  6. Task and engage NGOs that are the largest consumers of this plastics to take full precautions.
  7. Take full partnership in implementation of the actions.

If you take up the recommendation then the clean city will be the next home for all of us. “We all deserve a clean and healthy environment to live in”. For details of my previous post of July, 2018 please click link here. Plastics in Moroto Municipality National Environmental Management AuthorityEcological Christian Organization – ECO, @United Nations Convention on biodiversity, United Nations Environmental Programme

The article writen by Loupa Pius, Project officer, DADO.

Published by Arid Landscapes Initiative- ALIN Africa

Arid Landscape Initiative (ALIN Africa) is a think tank social group with a focus on ASALs biodiversity, pastoralism, natural resource governance, and policy development.

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