By: Anselm Ssebuguzi
The poor planning and management of solid wastes killed Cissy Namukasa and it is the major cause of flooding and waterlogging in Kampala since these solid wastes cause blockage of the poorly built Kampala water channels.
When 56-year-old Cissy Namukasa drowned in Nakawa Drainage Channel during a heavy downpour, she was misled by the flooding water which had overflown over the wide uncovered KCCA water channel. These channels were constructed by Kampala city council to serve suspicious purposes without considering the safety of the people of Kampala.
In my opinion, the water channels of Kampala were designed by irrational minds who didn’t think about the lives of road users.
They built them wide and deep so that they can take the massive water which is collected during rainfalls, which water collects mass solid waste but also sewage since some people around Kampala releases excrement from Sewage tanks whenever it rains to support the Kampala’s overwhelmed Sewage system and the rain drives all that through and deposits it into Lake Victoria.
According to the 2018 KCCA report, at least 22,000 tonnes of solid waste are generated from the city’s five divisions daily.
Out of these, KCCA can collect only 1,000 tonnes, while the service providers are required to collect 1,200 tonnes daily, however, KCCA manages to collect only 470 tonnes.
In total, this leaves more than 20.000 tonnes of waste uncollected and when it rains, the rainwater drives it into the channels that claimed the life of Cissy NAMUKASA on 2nd May 2020.
Kampala should invest in urban development and protect ecosystems through building impermeable areas which prevent rain from being absorbed by the soil thereby increasing flood hazard, particularly in low-lying areas like down town Kampala.
Inadequate city planning creates risks which can turn natural hazard into disasters, but also potential for the creation of man-made hazards through poor regulation of construction and transportation in the city.
For example in 2000, the garbage slide killed over 200 people in an informal settlement in Manila city, the Capital of Philippines.
Kampala people should demand for a modern, safe and a healthy city where even children, the elderly and people with disabilities can move around safely.