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Nebbi Food Vendors Protest Over Uncollected Garbage

NEBBI -The local food vendors in Nebbi Municipality are protesting over the accumulated heaps of garbage that have not been collected by the town authorities and has affected their businesses for the last one month.

Some vendors noted that the accumulated heaps of garbage have not only affected their food businesses but also is a health risk to the entire population of the town since it stinks.

The place which turned to be a dumping site for garbage was initially gazzeted temporarily for a taxi park by the then Nebbi Town Council in 2013, before Nebbi town became a municipality when the council banned kiosks in town as one of the avenues to decongest the town which also rendered many people  jobless.

The chairman Taxi and Vendors Association Bright Lemu Oting, says they have lost their customers due to accumulated heaps of garbage which have over stayed for a month.

Before the council resorted to dumping garbage where they are operating their food businesses, they used to sell ten kilograms of meat daily but now, they hardly sell three kilograms which has rendered many food vendors jobless in this lockdown posing financial losses, Oting added.

He added that many vendors servicing loans in any of the financial institutions have resorted to selling off their assets to meet loan repayments to avoid losing their properties.

“We are told to leave our business place but, we were not given the new business location where we will be relocated to conduct our normal businesses to sustain our livelihoods,” Oting said.

Another food vendor Peter Kawala who has been in food vending business for the last 50 years said, it’s a great shock to hear from municipal that, they should leave their business place and yet they have not been given the next place to conduct their business.

“We are ready to shift if we are given a new place to conduct our businesses because we cannot hijack the directives from any government agency,” Kawala said.

According to the letter written by William Makune Abwoli,  Nebbi Municipal Town Clerk, that was served to the food vendors on 7th, July 2021, it reads in part; all the businesses inside this garbage dumping site should be relocated to other locations that shall be deemed suitable for any human activities and free from any health risk.

Abwoli also cited in the letter that, it should be on record that all the businesses around the garbage dumping site were on temporary basis, without licenses as guided by the management of the central division and the vendors should be made aware that effective 13th August, 2021, they must leave the site.

“The garbage site is a health risk and we shall forcefully evict the business operators if there is lack of cooperation, violating the served letter,” Abwoli said in the letter.

The uncollected heaps of garbage in the heart of Nebbi town have become a hot political issue to  top political actors in the municipality but the Town Mayor Geoffrey Ngiriker, defended the council by saying, in the last financial year, the council realized a drastic decline in revenue collections due to Covid-19 pandemic which is affecting the garbage collection in town.

“The council was supposed to collect Shs 790 million from local revenue, but only collected Shs 500m which has remained a bigger challenge in managing garbage collection,” Ngiriker said.

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