GULU – Gulu City Council authorities have inked a Shs 3.5 billion deal with German Development Corporation for the construction of a garbage landfill in the city.
The garbage landfill, measuring about seven hectares, is located at Agwee Ward, approximately three kilometers from the heart of the city.
The eight months’ contract with Geomax Engineering, a local construction firm, was signed on May 26 at Churchill Courts Hotel.
Robert Towler, team leader of German Development Corporation, said his government has an 18 year strategic plan to improve garbage management, water and sanitation in the city.
Towler said the garbage landfill will reduce pollution of ground waters by 65 percent and urged city authorities to prioritize garbage management, water supply and sanitation.
The project financed by the German Development Bank-(KFW) will see 20 percent of the funds disbursed to the construction firm released shortly after the commissioning of the works.
“We have streamlined the transaction to keep corruption away from the project and we expect the grant to achieve its target of supporting the local communities,” Towler added.
Alfred Okwonga, the Gulu city mayor, warned the district technical team supervising the project and the contractor against corruption and shoddy work.
Michael Ocan Christopher, the Gulu City environment officer, said the processing plant will help boost the energy sector within the city when waste is recycled.
The project comes at the time when the council is struggling to dispose of huge piles of garbage within the city.
A report written by the Gulu City Council Health Department found that of 137 tons of solid waste produced daily in the city, only 10% is collected and disposed of.
With a single operational garbage truck, the council struggles to collect garbage from several places.
Biodegradable waste in the city accounts for 76%, plastic 5%, metal 3%, polythene 7% and other demolition debris accounts for 9% respectively, which has piled up at major collection points.
At Gulu Main Market, Jenifer Kamao, who sells second hand shoes, says her business is struggling to survive since her stall is next to the cabbage collection point.
Stephen Opwonya, the chairman of Gulu Disabled Cooperative, told this reporter that the group has lost business in the market square due to poor sanitation.
“We had to abandon mending shoes because the narrow space in the market square allocated to us is again turned into a garbage collection point,” Opwonya explained.
However, the 2019 Gulu District Health Department report found that 20,663 people got worm infections arising from poor sanitation.
At least 29,866 suffered from skin diseases, 25,588 from urinary tract infections while 24,606 got diarrhea.
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