Residents of Jinja Municipal Council will have to pay an annual fee to cater for the collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste generated in the area.
This is enshrined in the draft bylaw on solid waste management that seeks to address challenges of waste generated in the municipality. The municipality has been collecting the waste from households at no cost while every business entity has been paying for it as part of the trading license.
However, according to Jinja Municipal Environment Officer Earnest Nabihamba, the municipality has failed to deliver as per the current terms.
Nabihamba notes that it is against this background that the municipality came up with a Solid Waste Management bylaw and a five -year strategic plan to guide the implementation of the law. According to the draft, each entity will pay fees every financial year for waste collection, transportation and disposal depending on how much they generate.
The fees range between 5,000 to 200,000 shillings for households and business entities while big companies will be rated according to the amount of waste generated. This means that the landlords will have to charge an extra fee on top of the money for rent.
Nabihamba says the bylaw stipulates that waste management will be prioritized with a budget which has not been the case. The law also prohibits littering by pedestrians, passengers and motorists.
The draft says that person who fails to exercise or carry out his obligation as a generator of waste or fails to mitigate the impact caused to the environment and the public health commits an offence and shall be held liable.
The Jinja Municipality Public Relations Officer, Rajabu Kitto, says the council spends 24 million shillings which they pay to garbage contractor Bison International every month. He however adds that this accumulates to more than 200 million shillings in circumstances where the municipality can’t pay.
The law now awaits approval by the council.
Some of the residents URN talked to are, however, not in support of the law.
Joan Nabirye, a retailer at Gabula Road in Jinja town says that the municipal fees are exorbitant. She notes that she already pays a lot of money for her trading license meaning that with the new bylaw, the trading license fee will increase.
Paul Waitiki, a landlord in Bugembe town council says that the law will help on cleaning the municipality. He notes that he will increase rent fees the moment the bylaw is passed to enable the municipality do its job.