Home Feature Special Report: Mbale Traders on Verge of Contracting Cholera at Authorities’ Watch

Special Report: Mbale Traders on Verge of Contracting Cholera at Authorities’ Watch

Garbage infront of the market

When he was declared the mayor-elect of Mbale City, Mr. Cassim Namugali in his speech highlighted the total elimination of garbage, proper sewerage management and restoring the lost pride of Mbale City, as part of his major objectives.

“My leadership will focus on developing the road networks, find solutions for sewerage and garbage problems, implement the upcoming projects for purposes of developing the City,” excited Namugali who scooped over 32000 votes defeating six other candidates told reporters on January 21.

Close to two years later, garbage in the City has become the order of the day, with traders, especially those operating in the famous Mbale Central Market living on the verge of contracting cholera and other deadly diseases which come with improper hygiene.

On Thursday this week, the Works and Physical Planning Committee of Mbale City Authority was shocked by what they found in the Shs26Bn market.

During the Committee’s fact-finding mission, vendors narrated different ordeals they are going through, because of this poor hygiene.

Joseph Nakisali, a Vendor in the market said the sewage lines are smelly and have brought mosquitoes which are leading to endless malaria and other related diseases.

LineSteppa Community

“It is a pity but the truth, we are suffering, I have personally treated malaria several times, because of this market’s poor sewerage system, which has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” he told DaParrot on the sidelines.

“If nothing is done, we are on verge of being attacked by cholera,” he added

Traders removing water from their stalls in the market say there is a poor drainage system in the multi-billion market

Agatha Nafuna also operates a salon on the outside blocks of this market, he says that when it rains, water enters her salon and other shops destroying their businesses which has cost them a lot.

Poor drainage and sewerage systems accompanied by poor garbage collection plans are among the major issues which have left traders to leave on God’s mercy for their dear lives.

On a surprise note, the garbage collector is given Shs120,000 daily, according to Muhammad Mwanje, the market spokesperson.

LineSteppa Community

“They still don’t want want to remove garbage even when he has signed money,” he told the Works Committee.

In October last year, authorities in Mbale decided to turn to private garbage collectors to solve the problem of garbage in the area.

A move Mwanje says has not yielded results, “We are equally suffering, we wonder why the council canceled our contract yet we were managing our garbage here,” he said

Despite the City Council launching the ‘Keep Mbale Clean Campaign’ media reports indicate that nothing much has been done on the ground to actualize it.

Independent research made by these reporters indicates that the problems of poor hygiene are just worsening, especially in areas.

Ahamada Washaki the Mbale City RCC recently made some interventions after the traders in Soroti Road Market popularly known as Kikindu market had complained about the same issue of garbage and it was partly solved,

Mbale RCC Ahamada Washaki

The garbage from that market was removed for that day and the vendors are yet to see the same interventions again.

Some experts blame the problems on poor coordination between the elected leadership and the president’s representative, where each one is working differently to “show”

LineSteppa Community

 “Unless these people start sitting and planning together, we shall continue having these problems,” said experts who chose to remain unnamed.

His statements confirmed those of Mutwalibi Zandya, the former Mbale Municipal Council mayor who on December 18 during the launch of the PPDA Easter Regional Office attacked the then Mbale District RDC for interfering in his work.

Former Mbale Municipal Council Mayor Mutwalib Zandya (Black Shirt) with the former RDC the Late Suleiman Ogajjo Barrasa (In Specks)

“Just because we are from Opposition, the RDC has continuously interfered in our works and this has led to poor service delivery to the electorates,” angry Zandya said that day.

We contacted Washiaki, the current City RCC but declined to comment on the issue since he was not part of the delegation that visited the market.

Washaki said he cannot issue any comment because he does not know anything about the matter.

LineSteppa Community

“I have not heard any complaint and to respond to such complaint and am in town, the garbage is mobilized on a daily basis, and to make a comment on that, I need to cross-check first,” he said

In his claims, Washaki says he doesn’t know anything about the woos of traders and therefore “cannot comment on nothing,”

Leaders Speak Out

Ali Mivule, the Mbale Central Market Planner admitted that they are indeed having issues with garbage collection, and electricity, the rooftop is leaking and needs renovation, and the linkages on the sewage pipelines drop dirty wastes in the butcher.

“Our health inspector allocated to the market is not doing the aligned to and that only comes once and disappear, the market has no enough security,” he said

Kuluthumu Webisa, the market Vice Chairperson instead appealed to Mbale City Council Authority to intervene in the situation the vendors are suffering a lot yet paying revenue not getting services.

Zaidi Wandulu the Chairperson of the Committee said that the situation in the market is bad and disgusting.

LineSteppa Community

He however placed blame on the City leadership who collects revenue but doesn’t want to give services to the vendors.

Swalah Woniale the Secretary of the Committee commended the leadership of the market for providing them with the information which will help them in representing in the council meeting about the poor state of the market.

Namugali Blames the New Market Leadership

Speaking at the inspection, the City mayor  Namugali placed blame on the new leadership of the market, which he said had not taken time to go to his office and lay down the working strategy on how they can manage the market.

Mbale City Mayor Cassim Namugali

“No leader has ever come here to bring any issue concerning that market. How will we know the problems they’re facing there,”

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