Over 6000 students and primary pupils in Iganga have enrolled for a campaign aimed at eliminating garbage that has been one of the sources of syndromes in the district.
The students through Waste Awareness Sorting Training Education in Schools project dubbed ‘Waste’, with support from Bio-fertilizer Africa, a bio-engineering firm based in Kampala are drawn from five schools in the district.
The pilot project started with King of Kings Secondary School, Iganga High School, Iganga Progressive School, Iganga Parents and Kasokoso Primary School with a combined student population of 6116 and 400 teachers.
Launching the project at Iganga High on Friday, Iganga Mayor, David Balaba, said the project has come at the time Iganga has been ranked behind other districts in the country due to among others poor garbage collection.
“Iganga has in the past been ranked poorly because of among others garbage disposal but recently our rating has been going up and with this project in place we believe in the coming year who knows we can be ranked number one in the country,” the Mayor said. “We are grateful to Biofertiliser Africa for choosing Iganga as pioneering district in the country to lead the campaign against waste,” he added.
Balaba said the collected garbage will be converted into fertilizers and briquettes among others under a Memorandum of Understanding between Iganga and Bio-fertliser Africa’s parent organisation, Transform of Denmark at the plant being set up in Iganga town.
The objective project is to reduce environmental releases of waste by demonstrating and promoting best techniques and practices for reducing managing waste in Iganga and other parts of Uganda, according to the Waste project manager, Esther Mukisa Nankya.
“We have started with the five schools in Iganga but we hope to extend the same project to the rest of the country upon seeing its success,” she added.
“Arrangements will be made for representatives from project schools to visit recycling centres in Uganda and in Denmark to practically see how recycling works and what types of materials are recyclable,” she added.
The Waste project will also enable students and teachers to practically learn about sorting and waste recycling, an activity that even communities and homesteads can participate in, to acquire knowledge about what their efforts can do to help, and more so, acquire theoretical and practical knowledge about proper methods of sorting and disposing off waste.
She advised that waste management should be included in the school´s curriculum so that children can be part in playing a big role in organizing and managing the waste sector in Uganda, which is an infrastructural necessity for all other sectors to survive.
According to the World Bank estimate, an individual in a developing country produces an average of 0.45 – 0.50 kg of municipal solid waste. In Iganga the average rate of solid waste generation is estimated at 0.6 kg/person/day.
Transform with support from DANIDA made a feasibility study in 2011 about how recirculation of organic waste into Bio-fertilizer –using Transform’s unique technology– could raise the agricultural yield.
Iganga district located in Uganda, has a population of 716,311 people of which 50,000 live within the municipality. The annual population growth rate is 2.8%.
Iganga has a total of 356 primary schools with 314 government, 31 private and 14 community schools. For secondary schools, the district has over 62 schools, 13 are government, 28 private and 21 community. There is 1 technical institution, 1 teacher training college, Busoga University (1999).
The residents of Iganga are experiencing the consequences of poor waste management systems as the rubbish is thrown anywhere on the streets. Besides creating an unhealthy and unhygienic living environment, diseases are easily spread, lakes and water bodies are highly polluted, which has led to loss of biodiversity and the inefficient use of land and resources.