Recently, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) working on behalf of the Kampala Capital City authority(KCCA) issued an investment brief or what they called a ‘teaser’ seeking for private investors that could bring at least $180M for the development, structuring and tendering of the Kampala Solid Waste Treatment and Disposal PPP Project.
A first of its kind investment ready opportunity in Uganda that highlights the huge potential for waste treatment and disposal in Africa.
What is nerve wrecking is that KCCA guarantees the potential investor, a supply of at least 1,000 daily tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste (“MSW”) which will be delivered by KCCA to the existing disposal facility within Kampala City. In return, KCCA seeks to partner witha credible entity to design, build, finance and operate a treatment and disposal facility.
1,000 daily tonnes of Waste?? Where does all this waste come from?
To break it down, Kampala city alone releases about 1,000,000 (one million) kilograms of waste from just a population of 2.5Million people. By applying the multiplier effect, it simply means that Uganda’s 41Millionpeople could be churning out 16,400 tonnes of waste(16,400,00kgs) daily.
The most heartbreaking is that about 37% of this waste ends up in the wrong places like water bodies, national parks, road sides etc.
To even imagine that stake holders in the bus industry are silently watching the despicable behavior of bus conductors gathering garbage using the bus bins only for it to be disposed off at the nearest stop, usually an isolated road spot.
And it happens daily. Right under our nose, in the bus, car or even motorbike.
One day, my neighbour seated on the front seat threw a pile of trash out of the bus window, only for it to hit a motorcycle carrying a mother, her baby and the rider. Because of the sheer force of the moving bus, the rider lost control and rammed into a roadside signpost. With much anger, I reckoned the bus to stop and emphasised that my neighbour apologizes to the motorcycle rider and the passenger. It did happen, but after an upheaval.
Irresponsible behaviours like this, is only leading us down the abyss. Throwing rubbish through Bus windows while in transit is a rude gesture to the environment but also fathomably offensive to other road users. Suffice to mention, innocent pedestrians have also suffered the wrath as trash descends on them out of the abysmal character of the uncouth!
Actually, it is hard to move along Uganda roads without noticing lots of used plastic bottles, polythene bags among others relaxing alongside the road. We then froth in anger with arms akimbo waiting for the said government to help until most basically, drainage channels are blocked, with an ever increasing stench that brings uneasiness in our communities.
We just can’t seat on a fence and watch!
At Ugabus.com, a bus booking platform , we have embarked on a mission to contain the waste issue among buses. We have become advocates for a clean travel environment for all passengers by requesting bus operators to install waste bins in all their buses. More so, we have so far trained 61 bus employees on proper garbage disposal like ensuring that all collected garbage is disposed off at designated points rather than forests. We are soon starting a training call for passengers on proper disposal of waste as we hope that the government will contain the sell or importation of non-decomposable materials like polythne or plastic.
Soon, we are launching a technologically advanced mechanism that rewards passengers certain points for each time they properly dispose off their garbage into the designated garbage bins that we shall install in all buses. The MVP is ready and tested. This mechanism is predicted to reduce unhealthy garbage disposal by 53%.
And just like KCCA is seeking a private investor to handle Waste management, we are also calling the public to take cautious choices when throwing away any amount of garbage. This planet is the only home we have.
Wembi Denis is a travel enthusiast and content creator at Ugabus.com