Kampala’s garbage sites

I always wonder who is responsible for garbage collection in Kampala city. From what I have gathered, Kampala City Council (KCC) is responsible for this duty. However, it is common to find heaps and heaps of garbage piled on most Kampala streets. Now that the rainy season is here, it leaves a lot to be desired when it come to garbage collection in Kampala! For instance, I took this pictures on my way to work.

Scenarios like this are very common on the streets of Kampala, especially downtown and in slum areas, where I believe KCC officials just decide to keep a blind eye!

So what is KCC doing to address garbage collection? Or what does KCC need to do to address the littering garbage in our precious Kampala?

Quoting KCC, they write on their website, Solid waste collection and garbage management is one of the key services provided by the council.” They go to further say that “KCC has contracted private companies to manage solid waste collection so as to improve the cleanliness of the city. It is estimated that the per capita generation of garbage is one kilogram per day. With a population of about 1.5 million, this works out to about 1500 tons. The council can only manage to dispose of 40% -50% of this. About 80% of this garbage is organic matter which makes it very bulky to handle.”

I was beginning to think that most Ugandans are just dirty citizens who do not mind just littering rubbish anyway they find but on second thought, I thin it is the lack of sensitization on proper waste disposal that is lacking!

It is a very sight to see someone throw a polythene bag anywhere they find even when they have garbage bin in front of them! Still, this gets me thinking why can’t there be laws to punish such culprits?! Or is it that KCC will handle the garbage collection! I do not think at this point they are in position to do so!

For me, I believe that KCC should undertake massive sensitization of the public about the danger of unpropitious waste disposal, make implement laws that will catch the culprits who just on disposing garbage as they feel.


Keeping energized during a workshop

Today has been one of those workshop days where I felt like all my energy has been drained out of me. One thing that I always try to fight especially when I’m facilitating a workshop or even just being a participant is losing energy or feeling burn out at the end of the day.

It takes alot of energy to talk to participants more-so if they are some hands-on sessions to be done. Even when you think participants have an idea of what you are telling them to do, it turns out that alot of talking on how to about things has to be.  So, how do you beat that and maintain your energy without necessarily burning out? Here are some tips on how to keep energized through out a workshop or conference I would like to share that have worked for me.

  • Leave your worries/problems the moment you walk into the workshop room. This will keep you focused on the workshop rather than worrying about things you don’t have solutions for at the moment.
  • Try to get to know all participants’ names to avoid calling people wrong names or else you will have gloomy faces staring back at you!
  • Stick to the agenda of the workshop
  • Try to maintain a balanced diet through out the entire workshop or else you will have nutritional issues
  • Drink lots and lots of water or else you will be dehydrated
  • …….. share all you know 🙂

Right now, I have completed day two of the Uganda Citizen Journalism traininng and Im so warn out. I think something went wrong somewhere 😦

Can Citizen Journalism Replace Ordinary Journalism?

The debate whether Citizen Journalism will take over ordinary journalism has become one of the key topics in Civil Society organisations. Non-for-Profit Organisations are taking initiative to educate ordinary citizens on the role they can play in reporting key issues pertinent to them as they happen.

It has been argued that where as ordinary/trained journalists remain “objective” in their reporting, trying to be neutral on the subjects they write about, Citizen Journalists are not neutral and they do not try to be. Why? Simply because when Citizen Journalists see something; they immediately pick a story out of it! Take an example of the Mabira protests in Uganda, bomb killing in Iraq and Afghanistan, children dying in Darfur and Northern Ugandan, plus all those shameful things happening across the universe. The media keeps covering up some issues which we citizens need to know. Think about the information we would know if we were all empowered with the skills to cover and report events as they happen! It would really be awesome as governments would come to their true senses on what is really happening on ground. I can still imagine of all the policies that would be changed to best suit our interests.

Today, WOUGNET organised a training workshop to equip it’s members with writing, reporting and journalism skills. In this training, participants will also be able to have an in-depth exposure to Web 2.0 tools. Its believed that through this, participants will be equipped with Citizen journalism skills so that they do not have to “bribe” ordinary journalists” to cover their events. In Uganda, as I have come to learn today, it is common for journalists to ask for facilitation to cover events especially for the Non-for-profit organisations. Something that not only undermines the profession of journalism but also as been termed as “bribery” in the media. The sad story is that much as these journalists receive facilitation from the organizers of these events, they still end up not publishing their event’s stories.

However, the main concern here is that if citizens take on writing and reporting issues as they see them, what will happen to the traditional print media? How credible will the stories run by Citizen Journalism be? Will the general public take these stories seriously?

My view is that perhaps Citizen Journalism can take on the covering of issues that are not fairly represented especially here in Africa. I believe that once civil society organisations can pick on this new form of journalism, the sky would be the limit! Africa needs a free open minded citizens who can use the power of reporting key issues if development is to be realised in the continent.

Just my two cents on Citizen Journalism…..

Saturday boredoom

After taking sometime not posting I am back :), this time to rant about boring Saturdays.

I always look forward to Friday nites but not saturday afternoon. Reason not being able to do some constructive work or even think straight.

Right now I am in an Internet cafe. There are over 20 computers but only about 10 machines occupied, which leaves me wondering what happened to our internet cafes. Is it because many businees people are into the cafe business or is to because people now can access internet on their mobile phones or even at home. I remember some 5 years back, you would go from cafe to cafe but you would either find the place fully booked and you had to be on a look at any one who perhaps had an issue so that you jump onto their machine.

Well, my minutes are over. Time to post this blog and go to the saloon. Pure gal stuff!!!!!!! 🙂 

Hit and run drivers!

Ever wondered what happens to hit and run drivers?! Do they ever get caught? or do they simply vanish leaving their victims to die or suffer untold pain? Your guess is as good as mine! Although i think some might regret their actions wondering what could have happened to that person who they left struggling for their lives.

On my way to work today, I passed over a man who had been hit by a car. To my amusement, there where some policemen among the crowd who had gathered around the victim. However, what disturbed my mind is whether an ambulance had been called to  rush this person to hospital. Although from the look of things that could not have been the case! This thus left me wondering the role of the police in responding to such calamities.  Of course there was no evidence of the driver who had hit this man who, was fighting for his life!

Only God knows when reckless drivers will be brought to justice. Perhaps during judgement day!

What does you birthday mean

I came across a posting on birthdays and their meanings!!

Well, mine says this..

Your Birthdate: March 3

You are more than a big ball of energy – you are a big ball of hyper.
You are always on the go, but you don’t have a type a personality.
Instead of channeling your energy into work, you instead go for fun and adventure.
Witty and verbal, you can have an interesting conversation with anyone.

Your strength: Your larger than life imagination

Your weakness: You tend to be pretty scattered

Your power color: Lime

Your power symbol: Lightening bolt

Your power month: March

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Ugandans go mad on Mabira

mabira-demo.jpg Yesterday was the most historical day for Indians leave alone the time when Idi Amin dreamt that they were milking the economy and chased them out of Uganda. What happened like a peaceful demonstration over mabira forest giveaway turned out to be violent in the end. With one Asian, two Ugandans dead and several others injured, the demonstrators turned their anger to the Indians.

To be frank, I just do not support riots but for this one I would have participated. Unfortunately I do not work with in the main city centre where such activities take place. Nonetheless, even if I supported this strike although I did not like the end results.