Friday, June 2, 2017

Jenny Musisi Got The Dust Policy Wrong

I don’t like being perturbed especially on a Sunday. It disorganises me and leaves me trying to figure out ‘why’ yet, I could be doing something more useful like – err, like chilling with a cold TML and a skewer of meat in hand. But, I am perturbed with what’s happening at Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) because Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi, got the dust policy all wrong.

I once met her at Heathrow Airport where we had a ten minute chat and I walked away with a high regard for her. I also think in the time she’s been at the helm, she has done positive work for the city especially in trying to keep it clean that every morning, Army of Women take to the streets and do their best to sweep away our litter.

But there is a problem. Right from Speke Resort Munyonyo to Kansanga or as far away as Industrial Area, Bugolobi, Ntinda or Old Kiira Road, 95 per cent of the rubbish that Army of Women sweep away, is not actual litter like – empty bottles of water, cans of Coke or paper. Rather, they spend the working day sweeping away dust – or is it soil?

By 8:00am, they are on the streets ridding the roads clean of dust and soil which, they sweep into the gutters. If there is no gutter, they heap it into small mounds which, they leave abandoned by the roadside, or throw on the steep banks of the road.

Obviously during the night when there is a rain shower, the discarded soil on the banks of the road is washed back into the roads. And the following day, the efforts of the previous day have amounted to zilch. So what do they do? They repeat the process all over again - sweeping the roads clean of dust, piling the soil into little heaps, sweeping it into the gutters or throwing it onto the banks of the road. And they do this Monday though to Saturday, throughout the year.

But there is more to the tale. When they sweep the dust and soil into the gutters, I guess there is no need to tell you what happens next, but I have to because Official at KCCA doesn’t see it.

The gutters eventually get clogged which causes flooding. And on the rare occasion that that the powers that be at KCCA realise the flooding is caused by clogged gutters, they dispatch Official wearing one of those high visibility jackets and a shiny hardhat that looks like it was unpacked from the box that very morning to see what can be done.

Official in high visibility jacket and shiny new hardhat walks about with a clipboard scribbling some idle notes and once he has gathered all the necessary information, I presume he retreats back to his office and brainstorms with Colleague until ‘Eureka!’ is achieved.

His eureka solution, is to return to the streets wearing his high visibility jacket and shiny new hard hat to tell Army of Women to dig the soil and dust out of the gutters so the rain water can wash away unimpaired into Nakivubo Channel or wherever it’s supposed to go.

Army of Women simply do as told and dig the soil up out of the gutters and once again, is there any need to tell you what happens next? No there isn’t, but I will, because Official in high visibility jacket and shiny new hard hat doesn’t appear to know.

The following day, Army of Women sweep the soil and dust they dug up back into the gutters, or leave small mounds of soil or throw it onto the banks of the road so when it rains...

Now do you see why I am perturbed?

Pictures: Daily Monitor, New Vision                       

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