A Call for Responsible Citizenship in Keeping Kampala City Clean

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As a concerned citizen who has traversed the bustling streets of Kampala and other major cities during peak traffic hours, I can’t help but notice the men and women who diligently work to clean and maintain our roads without even basic safety equipment like reflectors. This negligence puts their lives at risk, and it’s high time we address this issue seriously.

Imagine turning a corner at high speed and not being able to spot the hardworking lady or gentleman cleaning the road. The potential for accidents and injuries is alarming. It is critical that the relevant authorities take action to ensure the safety and well-being of these essential workers. Reflective gear and proper training should be provided to them.

Another problem that has caught my attention is the inefficient road maintenance practices carried out by the KCCA. It’s disheartening to see them diverting traffic during peak hours just to fill a single pothole, causing unnecessary traffic congestion. This inefficiency highlights the need for more strategic planning and execution of road maintenance work.

All these issues could be contributing to the accidents that we are recording on a weekly basis in Uganda. The recent statistics from the Traffic and Road Safety Directorate are alarming, with a total of 451 accidents in a single week, resulting in 77 fatalities, 219 serious ones, 155 minors, 79 deaths, and 338 injuries. This emphasizes the urgency of eliminating all possible causes to combat these tragic accidents.

Drawing comparisons with our neighbor Rwanda, we must acknowledge the significant efforts made by their local leaders to maintain cleanliness and orderliness in their cities. The leaders in Rwanda take pride in fixing their country and work diligently even during the night to ensure the roads are well-maintained and reduce day time disruptions. As a result, the roads remain in better condition, leading to smoother traffic flow and a cleaner environment.

While we commend KCCA’s efforts under the smart city arrangement to carry out road repairs in alignment with the NRM Manifesto, these efforts must be backed up with effective and convenient execution for the road users.

The idea of performing road cleaning and maintenance at night, as done in Rwanda, is commendable. Nighttime maintenance allows for greater focus and minimizes disruptions to traffic flow. However, for this to become a reality, we need well-lit streets and roads to facilitate the work of the maintenance teams. Therefore, investing in proper street lighting should be a priority for our city’s administrators.

While it’s true that the responsibility of keeping our city clean lies with the authorities, we as citizens cannot ignore our role in this matter. We must cultivate a sense of responsible citizenship and actively contribute to the cleanliness and maintenance of our environment.

It starts with simple actions like not littering and properly disposing of waste. For instance, I recently had to confront a fellow citizen who carelessly threw rubbish out of his car during traffic. It is disheartening to witness such behavior, but we must not hesitate to hold each other accountable for the sake of our city’s cleanliness.

We should also remember that the proper upkeep of our environment is not solely the responsibility of the government or KCCA; it is everyone’s responsibility. As citizens, we must support each other in creating a habitable environment by actively participating in community clean-up drives and raising awareness about responsible waste disposal.

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